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Atlas Development for Cardiac Automatic Contouring Using Multi-Atlas Segmentation

J Yang

R Zhou , J Yang*, T Pan , S Milgrom , C Pinnix , A Shi , J Yang , Y Liu , Q Nguyen , D Gomez , B Dabaja , P Balter , L Court , Z Liao , MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


SU-E-J-129 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

To develop a set of atlases for automatic contouring of cardiac structures to determine heart radiation dose and the associated toxicity.

Six thoracic cancer patients with both contrast and non-contrast CT images were acquired for this study. Eight radiation oncologists manually and independently delineated cardiac contours on the non-contrast CT by referring to the fused contrast CT and following the RTOG 1106 atlas contouring guideline. Fifteen regions of interest (ROIs) were delineated, including heart, four chambers, four coronary arteries, pulmonary artery and vein, inferior and superior vena cava, and ascending and descending aorta. Individual expert contours were fused using the simultaneous truth and performance level estimation (STAPLE) algorithm for each ROI and each patient. The fused contours became atlases for an in-house multi-atlas segmentation. Using leave-one-out test, we generated auto-segmented contours for each ROI and each patient. The auto-segmented contours were compared with the fused contours using the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and the mean surface distance (MSD).

Inter-observer variability was not obvious for heart, chambers, and aorta but was large for other structures that were not clearly distinguishable on CT image. The average DSC between individual expert contours and the fused contours were less than 50% for coronary arteries and pulmonary vein, and the average MSD were greater than 4.0 mm. The largest MSD of expert contours deviating from the fused contours was 2.5 cm. The mean DSC and MSD of auto-segmented contours were within one standard deviation of expert contouring variability except the right coronary artery. The coronary arteries, vena cava, and pulmonary vein had DSC<70% and MSD>3.0 mm.

A set of cardiac atlases was created for cardiac automatic contouring, the accuracy of which was comparable to the variability in expert contouring. However, substantial modification may need for auto-segmented contours of indistinguishable small structures.

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