MO-F-CAMPUS-J-05: Toward MRI-Only Radiotherapy: Novel Tissue Segmentation and Pseudo-CT Generation Techniques Based On T1 MRI Sequences




To develop and validate a 4 class tissue segmentation approach (air cavities, background, bone and soft-tissue) on T1 -weighted brain MRI and to create a pseudo-CT for MRI-only radiation therapy verification.


Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted fast-spin-echo sequences (TR = 756ms, TE= 7.152ms), acquired on a 1.5T GE MRI-Simulator, are used.MRIs are firstly pre-processed to correct for non uniformity using the non parametric, non uniformity intensity normalization algorithm. Subsequently, a logarithmic inverse scaling log(1/image) is applied, prior to segmentation, to better differentiate bone and air from soft-tissues. Finally, the following method is enrolled to classify intensities into air cavities, background, bone and soft-tissue:Thresholded region growing with seed points in image corners is applied to get a mask of Air+Bone+Background. The background is, afterward, separated by the scan-line filling algorithm. The air mask is extracted by morphological opening followed by a post-processing based on knowledge about air regions geometry. The remaining rough bone pre-segmentation is refined by applying 3D geodesic active contours; bone segmentation evolves by the sum of internal forces from contour geometry and external force derived from image gradient magnitude.Pseudo-CT is obtained by assigning −1000HU to air and background voxels, performing linear mapping of soft-tissue MR intensities in [-400HU, 200HU] and inverse linear mapping of bone MR intensities in [200HU, 1000HU].


Three brain patients having registered MRI and CT are used for validation. CT intensities classification into 4 classes is performed by thresholding. Dice and misclassification errors are quantified. Correct classifications for soft-tissue, bone, and air are respectively 89.67%, 77.8%, and 64.5%. Dice indices are acceptable for bone (0.74) and soft-tissue (0.91) but low for air regions (0.48). Pseudo-CT produces DRRs with acceptable clinical visual agreement to CT-based DRR.


The proposed approach makes it possible to use T1-weighted MRI to generate accurate pseudo-CT from 4-class segmentation.