TU-AB-BRA-01: Abdominal Synthetic CT Generation in Support of Liver SBRT Dose Calculation




To demonstrate and validate a technique for generating MRI-derived synthetic CT volumes (MRCTs) in support of adaptive liver SBRT.


Under IRB approval, ten hepatocellular carcinoma patients were scanned using a single MR sequence (T1 Dixon-VIBE), yielding inherently-registered water, fat, and T1-weighted images. Air-containing voxels were identified by intensity thresholding. The envelope of the anterior vertebral bodies was segmented from the fat image by fitting a shape model to vertebral body candidate voxels, then using level sets to expand the contour outward. Fuzzy-C-Means (FCM) was then used to classify each non-air voxel in the image as fat, water, bone, or marrow. Bone and marrow only were classified within the vertebral body envelope. The MRCT was created by integrating the product of the FCM class probability with the assigned class density for each voxel. The resulting MRCTs were deformably aligned with planning CTs and 2-ARC SBRT VMAT plans were optimized on the MRCT density maps. Fluence was copied onto the CT density grids and dose recalculated.


The MRCTs faithfully reproduced most of the features visible in the corresponding CT image volumes, with exceptions of ribs and posterior spinous processes. The liver, vertebral bodies, kidneys, spleen and cord all had median HU differences of less than 75 between MRCT and CT images. PTV D99% values had an average 0.2% difference (standard deviation: 0.46%) between calculations on MRCT and CT density grids. The maximum difference in dose to 0.1cc of the PTV was 0.25% (std:0.49%). OAR dose differences were similarly small (mean:0.03Gy, std:0.26Gy). The largest normal tissue complication percentage (NTCP) difference was 1.48% (mean:0.06%, std:0.54%).


MRCTs from a single abdominal imaging sequence are promising for use in SBRT dose calculation. Future work will focus on extending models to better define bones in the upper abdomen.

Supported by NIHR01EB016079 and NIH1L30CA199594-01