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Solving the Chinese Postman Problem for Effective Contour Deformation

J Yang

J Yang1*, L Zhang1 , Y Zhang2 , L Dong2 , P Balter1 , L Court1 , (1) MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, (2) Scripps Proton Therapy Center, San Diego, CA


SU-E-J-108 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

To develop a practical approach for accurate contour deformation when deformable image registration (DIR) is used for atlas-based segmentation or contour propagation in image-guided radiotherapy.

A contour deformation approach was developed on the basis of 3D mesh operations. The 2D contours represented by a series of points in each slice were first converted to a 3D triangular mesh, which was deformed by the deformation vectors resulting from DIR. A set of parallel 2D planes then cut through the deformed 3D mesh, generating unordered points and line segments, which should be reorganized into a set of 2D contour points. It was realized that the reorganization problem was equivalent to solving the Chinese Postman Problem (CPP) by traversing a graph built from the unordered points with the least cost. Alternatively, deformation could be applied to a binary mask converted from the original contours. The deformed binary mask was then converted back into contours at the CT slice locations. We performed a qualitative comparison to validate the mesh-based approach against the image-based approach.

The DIR could considerably change the 3D mesh, making complicated 2D contour representations after deformation. CPP was able to effectively reorganize the points in 2D planes no matter how complicated the 2D contours were. The mesh-based approach did not require a post-processing of the contour, thus accurately showing the actual deformation in DIR. The mesh-based approach could keep some fine details and resulted in smoother contours than the image-based approach did, especially for the lung structure. Image-based approach appeared to over-process contours and suffered from image resolution limits. The mesh-based approach was integrated into in-house DIR software for use in routine clinic and research.

We developed a practical approach for accurate contour deformation. The efficiency of this approach was demonstrated in both clinic and research applications.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This work was partially supported by Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) RP110562.

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