Accuracy of deformable image registration for contour propagation in adaptive lung radiotherapy

Nicholas Hardcastle*, Wouter van Elmpt, Dirk De Ruysscher, Karl Bzdusek, Wolfgang A. Tome

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Deformable image registration (DIR) is an attractive method for automatic propagation of regions of interest (ROIs) in adaptive lung radiotherapy. This study investigates DIR for automatic contour propagation in adaptive Non Small Cell Lung Carcinoma patients. Methods: Pre and mid-treatment fan beam 4D-kVCT scans were taken for 17 NSCLC patients. Gross tumour volumes (GTV), nodal-GTVs, lungs, esophagus and spinal cord were delineated on all kVCT scans. ROIs were propagated from pre-to mid-treatment images using three DIR algorithms. DIR-propagated ROIs were compared with physician-drawn ROIs on the mid-treatment scan using the Dice score and the mean slicewise Hausdorff distance to agreement (MSHD). A physician scored the DIR-propagated ROIs based on clinical utility. Results: Good agreement between the DIR-propagated and physician drawn ROIs was observed for the lungs and spinal cord. Agreement was not as good for the nodal-GTVs and esophagus, due to poor soft-tissue contrast surrounding these structures. 96% of OARs and 85% of target volumes were scored as requiring no or minor adjustments. Conclusions: DIR has been shown to be a clinically useful method for automatic contour propagation in adaptive radiotherapy however thorough assessment of propagated ROIs by the treating physician is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number243
JournalRadiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2013


  • Deformable image registration
  • Adaptive radiotherapy
  • Automatic contour propagation

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