Cardiac Substructure Segmentation and Dosimetry Using a Novel Hybrid Magnetic Resonance and Computed Tomography Cardiac Atlas
Morris ED, Ghanem AI, Pantelic MV, Walker EM, Han X, and Glide-Hurst CK. Cardiac substructure segmentation and dosimetry using a novel hybrid mr/ct cardiac atlas. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 Mar 15;103(4):985-993.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
PURPOSE: Radiation dose to the heart and cardiac substructures has been linked to cardiotoxicities. Because cardiac substructures are poorly visualized on treatment-planning computed tomography (CT) scans, we used the superior soft-tissue contrast of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to optimize a hybrid MR/CT atlas for substructure dose assessment using CT.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Thirty-one patients with left-sided breast cancer underwent a T2-weighted MR imaging scan and noncontrast simulation CT scans. A radiation oncologist delineated 13 substructures (chambers, great vessels, coronary arteries, etc) using MR/CT information via cardiac-confined rigid registration. Ground-truth contours for 20 patients were inputted into an intensity-based deformable registration atlas and applied to 11 validation patients. Automatic segmentations involved using majority vote and Simultaneous Truth and Performance Level Estimation (STAPLE) strategies with 1 to 15 atlas matches. Performance was evaluated via Dice similarity coefficient (DSC), mean distance to agreement, and centroid displacement. Three physicians evaluated segmentation performance via consensus scoring by using a 5-point scale. Dosimetric assessment included measurements of mean heart dose, left ventricular volume receiving 5 Gy, and left anterior descending artery mean and maximum doses.
RESULTS: Atlas approaches performed similarly well, with 7 of 13 substructures (heart, chambers, ascending aorta, and pulmonary artery) having DSC >0.75 when averaged over 11 validation patients. Coronary artery segmentations were not successful with the atlas-based approach (mean DSC50% of all validation contours had centroid displacements.05). Qualitative contour grading showed that 8 substructures required minor modifications.
CONCLUSIONS: The hybrid MR/CT atlas provided reliable segmentations of chambers, heart, and great vessels for patients undergoing noncontrast CT, suggesting potential widespread applicability for routine treatment planning.