TU-AB-202-03: Prediction of PET Transfer Uncertainty by DIR Error Estimating Software, AUTODIRECT

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

Deformable image registration (DIR) is a powerful tool, but DIR errors can adversely affect its clinical applications. To estimate voxel-specific DIR uncertainty, a software tool, called AUTODIRECT (automated DIR evaluation of confidence tool), has been developed and validated. This work tests the ability of this software to predict uncertainty for the transfer of standard uptake values (SUV) from positron-emission tomography (PET) with DIR.

Methods:

Virtual phantoms are used for this study. Each phantom has a planning computed tomography (CT) image and a diagnostic PET-CT image set. A deformation was digitally applied to the diagnostic CT to create the planning CT image and establish a known deformation between the images. One lung and three rectum patient datasets were employed to create the virtual phantoms. Both of these sites have difficult deformation scenarios associated with them, which can affect DIR accuracy (lung tissue sliding and changes in rectal filling). The virtual phantoms were created to simulate these scenarios by introducing discontinuities in the deformation field at the lung rectum border. The DIR algorithm from Plastimatch software was applied to these phantoms. The SUV mapping errors from the DIR were then compared to that predicted by AUTODIRECT.

Results:

The SUV error distributions closely followed the AUTODIRECT predicted error distribution for the 4 test cases. The minimum and maximum PET SUVs were produced from AUTODIRECT at 95% confidence interval before applying gradient-based SUV segmentation for each of these volumes. Notably, 93.5% of the target volume warped by the true deformation was included within the AUTODIRECT-predicted maximum SUV volume after the segmentation, while 78.9% of the target volume was within the target volume warped by Plastimatch.

Conclusion:

The AUTODIRECT framework is able to predict PET transfer uncertainty caused by DIR, which enables an understanding of the associated target volume uncertainty.

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