SU-E-J-114: A Practical Hybrid Method for Improving the Quality of CT-CBCT Deformable Image Registration for Head and Neck Radiotherapy




Accurate deformable image registration (DIR) between CT and CBCT in H&N is challenging. In this study, we propose a practical hybrid method that uses not only the pixel intensities but also organ physical properties, structure volume of interest (VOI), and interactive local registrations.


Five oropharyngeal cancer patients were selected retrospectively. For each patient, the planning CT was registered to the last fraction CBCT, where the anatomy difference was largest. A three step registration strategy was tested; Step1) DIR using pixel intensity only, Step2) DIR with additional use of structure VOI and rigidity penalty, and Step3) interactive local correction. For Step1, a public-domain open-source DIR algorithm was used (cubic B-spline, mutual information, steepest gradient optimization, and 4-level multi-resolution). For Step2, rigidity penalty was applied on bony anatomies and brain, and a structure VOI was used to handle the body truncation such as the shoulder cut-off on CBCT. Finally, in Step3, the registrations were reviewed on our in-house developed software and the erroneous areas were corrected via a local registration using level-set motion algorithm.


After Step1, there were considerable amount of registration errors in soft tissues and unrealistic stretching in the posterior to the neck and near the shoulder due to body truncation. The brain was also found deformed to a measurable extent near the superior border of CBCT. Such errors could be effectively removed by using a structure VOI and rigidity penalty. The rest of the local soft tissue error could be corrected using the interactive software tool. The estimated interactive correction time was approximately 5 minutes.


The DIR using only the image pixel intensity was vulnerable to noise and body truncation. A corrective action was inevitable to achieve good quality of registrations. We found the proposed three-step hybrid method efficient and practical for CT/CBCT registrations in H&N.

My department receives grant support from Industrial partners: (a) Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, and (b) Philips HealthCare, Best, Netherlands