Validation of an MRI-only planning workflow for definitive pelvic radiotherapy

Laura M. O’Connor, Jason A. Dowling, Jae Hyuk Choi, Jarad Martin, Helen Warren-Forward, Haylea Richardson, Leah Best, Kate Skehan, Mahesh Kumar, Geetha Govindarajulu, Swetha Sridharan, Peter B. Greer

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: Previous work on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) only planning has been applied to limited treatment regions with a focus on male anatomy. This research aimed to validate the use of a hybrid multi-atlas synthetic computed tomography (sCT) generation technique from a MRI, using a female and male atlas, for MRI only radiation therapy treatment planning of rectum, anal canal, cervix and endometrial malignancies. Patients and methods: Forty patients receiving radiation treatment for a range of pelvic malignancies, were separated into male (n = 20) and female (n = 20) cohorts for the creation of gender specific atlases. A multi-atlas local weighted voting method was used to generate a sCT from a T1-weighted VIBE DIXON MRI sequence. The original treatment plans were copied from the CT scan to the corresponding sCT for dosimetric validation. Results: The median percentage dose difference between the treatment plan on the CT and sCT at the ICRU reference point for the male cohort was − 0.4% (IQR of 0 to − 0.6), and − 0.3% (IQR of 0 to − 0.6) for the female cohort. The mean gamma agreement for both cohorts was > 99% for criteria of 3%/2 mm and 2%/2 mm. With dose criteria of 1%/1 mm, the pass rate was higher for the male cohort at 96.3% than the female cohort at 93.4%. MRI to sCT anatomical agreement for bone and body delineated contours was assessed, with a resulting Dice score of 0.91 ± 0.2 (mean ± 1 SD) and 0.97 ± 0.0 for the male cohort respectively; and 0.96 ± 0.0 and 0.98 ± 0.0 for the female cohort respectively. The mean absolute error in Hounsfield units (HUs) within the entire body for the male and female cohorts was 59.1 HU ± 7.2 HU and 53.3 HU ± 8.9 HU respectively. Conclusions: A multi-atlas based method for sCT generation can be applied to a standard T1-weighted MRI sequence for male and female pelvic patients. The implications of this study support MRI only planning being applied more broadly for both male and female pelvic sites. Trial registration This trial was registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ( on 04/10/2017. Trial identifier ACTRN12617001406392.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


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