Dosimetric evaluation of synthetic CT relative to bulk density assignment-based magnetic resonance-only approaches for prostate radiotherapy

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Radiat Oncol


BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been incorporated as an adjunct to CT to take advantage of its excellent soft tissue contrast for contouring. MR-only treatment planning approaches have been developed to avoid errors introduced during the MR-CT registration process. The purpose of this study is to evaluate calculated dose distributions after incorporating a novel synthetic CT (synCT) derived from magnetic resonance simulation images into prostate cancer treatment planning and to compare dose distributions calculated using three previously published MR-only treatment planning methodologies.

METHODS: An IRB-approved retrospective study evaluated 15 prostate cancer patients that underwent IMRT (n = 11) or arc therapy (n = 4) to a total dose of 70.2-79.2 Gy. Original treatment plans were derived from CT simulation images (CT-SIM). T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and balanced turbo field echo images were acquired on a 1.0 T high field open MR simulator with patients immobilized in treatment position. Four MR-derived images were studied: bulk density assignment (10 HU) to water (MRW), bulk density assignments to water and bone with pelvic bone values derived either from literature (491 HU, MRW+B491) or from CT-SIM population average bone values (300 HU, MRW+B300), and synCTs. Plans were recalculated using fixed monitor units, plan dosimetry was evaluated, and local dose differences were characterized using gamma analysis (1 %/1 mm dose difference/distance to agreement).

RESULTS: While synCT provided closest agreement to CT-SIM for D95, D99, and mean dose (

CONCLUSIONS: SynCT values provided closest dosimetric and gamma analysis agreement to CT-SIM compared to bulk density assignment-based CT surrogates. SynCTs may provide additional clinical value in treatment sites with greater air-to-soft tissue ratio.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Middle Aged; Prostatic Neoplasms; Radiometry; Radiotherapy Dosage; Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted; Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated; Retrospective Studies; Tomography, X-Ray Computed

PubMed ID




First Page


Last Page