A method to estimate the effect of deformable image registration uncertainties on daily dose mapping




To develop a statistical sampling procedure for spatially-correlated uncertainties in deformable image registration and then use it to demonstrate their effect on daily dose mapping.


Sequential daily CT studies are acquired to map anatomical variations prior to fractionated external beam radiotherapy. The CTs are deformably registered to the planning CT to obtain displacement vector fields (DVFs). The DVFs are used to accumulate the dose delivered each day onto the planning CT. Each DVF has spatially-correlated uncertainties associated with it. Principal components analysis (PCA) is applied to measured DVF error maps to produce decorrelated principal component modes of the errors. The modes are sampled independently and reconstructed to produce synthetic registration error maps. The synthetic error maps are convolved with dose mapped via deformable registration to model the resulting uncertainty in the dose mapping. The results are compared to the dose mapping uncertainty that would result from uncorrelated DVF errors that vary randomly from voxel to voxel.


The error sampling method is shown to produce synthetic DVF error maps that are statistically indistinguishable from the observed error maps. Spatially-correlated DVF uncertainties modeled by our procedure produce patterns of dose mapping error that are different from that due to randomly distributed uncertainties.


Deformable image registration uncertainties have complex spatial distributions. The authors have developed and tested a method to decorrelate the spatial uncertainties and make statistical samples of highly correlated error maps. The sample error maps can be used to investigate the effect of DVF uncertainties on daily dose mapping via deformable image registration. An initial demonstration of this methodology shows that dose mapping uncertainties can be sensitive to spatial patterns in the DVF uncertainties.