Ultrasound-guided high-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) needle segmentation is performed clinically using live-2D sagittal images. Organ segmentation is then performed using axial images, introducing a source of geometric uncertainty. Sagittally-reconstructed 3D (SR3D) ultrasound enables both needle and organ segmentation, but suffers from shadow artifacts. We present a needle segmentation technique augmenting SR3D with live-2D sagittal images using mechanical probe tracking to mitigate image artifacts and compare it to the clinical standard.
Seven prostate cancer patients underwent TRUS-guided HDR-BT during which the clinical and proposed segmentation techniques were completed in parallel using dual ultrasound video outputs. Calibrated needle end-length measurements were used to calculate insertion depth errors (IDEs), and the dosimetric impact of IDEs was evaluated by perturbing clinical treatment plan source positions.
The proposed technique provided smaller IDEs than the clinical approach, with mean±SD of −0.3±2.2 mm and −0.5±3.7mm respectively. The proposed and clinical techniques resulted in 84% and 43% of needles with IDEs within ±3mm, and IDE ranges across all needles of [−7.7mm, 5.9mm] and [−9.3mm, 7.7mm] respectively. The proposed and clinical IDEs lead to mean±SD changes in the volume of the prostate receiving the prescription dose of −0.6±0.9% and −2.0±5.3% respectively.
The proposed technique provides improved HDR-BT needle segmentation accuracy over the clinical technique leading to decreased dosimetric uncertainty by eliminating the axial-to-sagittal registration, and mitigates the effect of shadow artifacts by incorporating mechanically registered live-2D sagittal images.