Using synthetic CT for partial brain radiation therapy: Impact on image guidance

Eric D. Morris, Ryan G. Price, Joshua Kim, Lonni Schultz, M. Salim Siddiqui, Indrin Chetty, Carri Glide-Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent advancements in synthetic computed tomography (synCT) from magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data have made MRI-only treatment planning feasible in the brain, although synCT performance for image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is not well understood. This work compares geometric equivalence of digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) from CTs and synCTs for brain cancer patients and quantifies performance for partial brain IGRT. Methods and materials: Ten brain cancer patients (12 lesions, 7 postsurgical) underwent MR-SIM and CT-SIM. SynCTs were generated by combining ultra-short echo time, T1, T2, and fluid attenuation inversion recovery datasets using voxel-based weighted summation. SynCT and CT DRRs were compared using patient-specific thresholding and assessed via overlap index, Dice similarity coefficient, and Jaccard index. Planar IGRT images for 22 fractions were evaluated to quantify differences between CT-generated DRRs and synCT-generated DRRs in 6 quadrants. Previously validated software was implemented to perform 2-dimensional (2D)–2D rigid registrations using normalized mutual information. Absolute (planar image/DRR registration) and relative (differences between synCT and CT DRR registrations) shifts were calculated for each axis and 3-dimensional vector difference. A total of 1490 rigid registrations were assessed. Results: DRR agreements in anteroposterior and lateral views for overlap index, Dice similarity coefficient, and Jaccard index were >0.95. Normalized mutual information results were equivalent in 75% of quadrants. Rotational registration results were negligible (<0.07°). Statistically significant differences between CT and synCT registrations were observed in 9/18 matched quadrants/axes (P <.05). The population average absolute shifts were 0.77 ± 0.58 and 0.76 ± 0.59 mm for CT and synCT, respectively, for all axes/quadrants. Three-dimensional vectors were <2 mm in 77.7 ± 10.8% and 76.5 ± 7.2% of CT and synCT registrations, respectively. SynCT DRRs were sensitive in postsurgical cases (vector displacements >2 mm in affected quadrants). Conclusions: DRR synCT geometry was robust. Although statistically significant differences were observed between CT and synCT registrations, results were not clinically significant. Future work will address synCT generation in postsurgical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-350
Number of pages9
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


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