SU-F-19A-09: Propagation of Organ at Risk Contours for High Dose Rate Brachytherapy Planning for Cervical Cancer: A Deformable Image Registration Comparison




To compare the performance of two deformable image registration (DIR) algorithms for contour propagation and to evaluate the accuracy of DIR for use with high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy planning for cervical cancer.


Five patients undergoing HDR ring and tandem brachytherapy were included in this retrospective study. All patients underwent CT simulation and replanning prior to each fraction (3–5 fractions total). CT-to-CT DIR was performed using two commercially available software platforms: SmartAdapt, Varian Medical Systems (Demons) and Velocity AI, Velocity Medical Solutions (B-spline). Fraction 1 contours were deformed and propagated to each subsequent image set and compared to contours manually drawn by an expert clinician. Dice similarity coefficients (DSC), defined as, DSC(A,B)=2(AandB)/(A+B) were calculated to quantify spatial overlap between manual (A) and deformed (B) contours. Additionally, clinician-assigned visual scores were used to describe and compare the performance of each DIR method and ultimately evaluate which was more clinically acceptable. Scoring was based on a 1–5 scale—with 1 meaning, “clinically acceptable with no contour changes” and 5 meaning, “clinically unacceptable”.


Statistically significant differences were not observed between the two DIR algorithms. The average DSC for the bladder, rectum and rectosigmoid were 0.82±0.08, 0.67±0.13 and 0.48±0.18, respectively. The poorest contour agreement was observed for the rectosigmoid due to limited soft tissue contrast and drastic anatomical changes, i.e., organ shape/filling. Two clinicians gave nearly equivalent average scores of 2.75±0.91 for SmartAdapt and 2.75±0.94 for Velocity AI—indicating that for a majority of the cases, more than one of the three contours evaluated required major modifications.


Limitations of both DIR algorithms resulted in inaccuracies in contour propagation in the pelvic region, thus hampering the clinical utility of this technology. Further work is required to optimize these algorithms and take advantage of the potential of DIR for HDR brachytherapy planning.