SU-E-T-225: It Is Necessary to Contouring the Brainstem On MRI Images in Radiotherapy of Head and Neck Cancer




To analyze the error in contouring the brainstem for patients with head and neck cancer who underwent radiotherapy based on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images.


20 brain tumor and 17 nasopharyngeal cancer patients were randomly selected. Each patient underwent MR and CT scanning. For each patient, one observer contoured the brainstem on CT and MR images for 10 times, and 10 observers from five centers delineated the brainstem on CT and MR images only one time. The inter- and intra-observers volume and outline variations were compared.


The volumes of brainstem contoured by inter- and intra-observers on CT and MR images were similar (p>0.05). The reproducibility of contouring brainstem on MR images was better than that on CT images (p<0.05) for both inter- and intra-observer variability. The inter- and intra-observer for contouring on CT images reached mean values of 0.81±0.05 (p>0.05) and of 0.85±0.05 (p>0.05), respectively, while on MR images these respective values were 0.90±0.05 (p>0.05) and 0.92±0.04 (p>0.05).


Contouring the brainstem on MR images was more accurate and reproducible than that on CT images. Precise information might be more helpful for protecting the brainstem radiation injury the patients whose lesion were closed to brainstem.