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Comparison of Delineation Variability of Soft Tissue Volume and Position in Head-And-Neck Between Two T1-Weighted Pulse Sequences Using An MR-Simulator with Immobilization

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O Wong

O Wong*, G Lo , J Yuan , M Law , A Ding , K Cheng , K Chan , K Cheung , S Yu , Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong


SU-E-J-231 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

There is growing interests in applying MR-simulator(MR-sim) in radiotherapy but MR images subject to hardware, patient and pulse sequence dependent geometric distortion that may potentially influence target definition. This study aimed to evaluate the influence on head-and-neck tissue delineation, in terms of positional and volumetric variability, of two T1-weighted(T1w) MR sequences on a 1.5T MR-sim.

Four healthy volunteers were scanned (4 scans for each on different days) using both spin-echo (3DCUBE, TR/TE=500/14ms, TA=183s) and gradient-echo sequences (3DFSPGR, TE/TR=7/4ms, TA=173s) with identical coverage, voxel-size(0.8x0.8x1.0mm3), receiver-bandwidth(62.5kHz/pix) and geometric correction on a 1.5T MR-sim immobilized with personalized thermoplastic cast and head-rest. Under this setting, similar T1w contrast and signal-to-noise ratio were obtained, and factors other than sequence that might bias image distortion and tissue delineation were minimized. VOIs of parotid gland(PGR, PGL), pituitary gland(PIT) and eyeballs(EyeL, EyeR) were carefully drawn, and inter-scan coefficient-of-variation(CV) of VOI centroid position and volume were calculated for each subject. Mean and standard deviation(SD) of the CVs for four subjects were compared between sequences using Wilcoxon ranksum test.

The mean positional(<4%) and volumetric(<7%) CVs varied between tissues, majorly dependent on tissue inherent properties like volume, location, mobility and deformability. Smaller mean volumetric CV was found in 3DCUBE, probably due to its less proneness to tissue susceptibility, but only PGL showed significant difference(P<0.05). Positional CVs had no significant differences for all VOIs(P>0.05) between sequences, suggesting volumetric variation might be more sensitive to sequence-dependent delineation difference.

Although 3DCUBE is considered less prone to tissue susceptibility-induced artifact and distortion, our preliminary data showed that both sequences had insignificant differences on positional and volumetric CV in most head-and-neck tissues except for PGL. This study is majorly limited in its small sample size. Influences of image contrasts(T1w v.s. T2w) and inter-observer difference have to be further investigated.

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