MRI-Based Upper Abdominal Organs-at-Risk Atlas for Radiation Oncology

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International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics


PURPOSE: The purpose of our study was to provide a guide for identification and contouring of upper abdominal organs-at-risk (OARs) in the setting of online magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiation treatment planning and delivery.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: After a needs assessment survey, it was determined that an upper abdominal MRI-based atlas of normal OARs would be of benefit to radiation oncologists and radiation therapists. An anonymized diagnostic 1.5T MRI from a patient with typical upper abdominal anatomy was used for atlas development. Two MRI sequences were selected for contouring, a T1-weighted gadoxetic acid contrast-enhanced MRI acquired in the hepatobiliary phase and axial fast imaging with balanced steady-state precession. Two additional clinical MRI sequences from commercial online MRI-guided radiation therapy systems were selected for contouring and were included in the final atlas. Contours from each data set were completed and reviewed by radiation oncologists, along with a radiologist who specializes in upper abdominal imaging, to generate a consensus upper abdominal MRI-based OAR atlas.

RESULTS: A normal OAR atlas was developed, including recommendations for contouring. The atlas and contouring guidance are described, and high-resolution MRI images and contours are displayed. OARs, such as the bile duct and biliary tree, which may be better seen on MRI than on computed tomography, are highlighted. The full DICOM/DICOM-RT MRI images from both the diagnostic and clinical online MRI-guided radiation therapy systems data sets have been made freely available, for educational purposes, at

CONCLUSIONS: This MRI contouring atlas for upper abdominal OARs should provide a useful reference for contouring and education. Its routine use may help to improve uniformity in contouring in radiation oncology planning and OAR dose calculation. Full DICOM/DICOM-RT images are available online and provide a valuable educational resource for upper abdominal MRI-based radiation therapy planning and delivery.

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ePub ahead of print