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Title: SU-C-BRA-04: Automated Segmentation of Head-And-Neck CT Images for Radiotherapy Treatment Planning Via Multi-Atlas Machine Learning (MAML)

Abstract

Purpose: Accurate image segmentation is a crucial step during image guided radiation therapy. This work proposes multi-atlas machine learning (MAML) algorithm for automated segmentation of head-and-neck CT images. Methods: As the first step, the algorithm utilizes normalized mutual information as similarity metric, affine registration combined with multiresolution B-Spline registration, and then fuses together using the label fusion strategy via Plastimatch. As the second step, the following feature selection strategy is proposed to extract five feature components from reference or atlas images: intensity (I), distance map (D), box (B), center of gravity (C) and stable point (S). The box feature B is novel. It describes a relative position from each point to minimum inscribed rectangle of ROI. The center-of-gravity feature C is the 3D Euclidean distance from a sample point to the ROI center of gravity, and then S is the distance of the sample point to the landmarks. Then, we adopt random forest (RF) in Scikit-learn, a Python module integrating a wide range of state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms as classifier. Different feature and atlas strategies are used for different ROIs for improved performance, such as multi-atlas strategy with reference box for brainstem, and single-atlas strategy with reference landmark for opticmore » chiasm. Results: The algorithm was validated on a set of 33 CT images with manual contours using a leave-one-out cross-validation strategy. Dice similarity coefficients between manual contours and automated contours were calculated: the proposed MAML method had an improvement from 0.79 to 0.83 for brainstem and 0.11 to 0.52 for optic chiasm with respect to multi-atlas segmentation method (MA). Conclusion: A MAML method has been proposed for automated segmentation of head-and-neck CT images with improved performance. It provides the comparable result in brainstem and the improved result in optic chiasm compared with MA. Xuhua Ren and Hao Gao were partially supported by the NSFC (#11405105), the 973 Program (#2015CB856000), and the Shanghai Pujiang Talent Program (#14PJ1404500).« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, Shanghai (China)
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22624326
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; ALGORITHMS; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; EUCLIDEAN SPACE; HEAD; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; NECK; PERFORMANCE; PLANNING; RADIOTHERAPY; VALIDATION

Citation Formats

Ren, X, Gao, H, and Sharp, G. SU-C-BRA-04: Automated Segmentation of Head-And-Neck CT Images for Radiotherapy Treatment Planning Via Multi-Atlas Machine Learning (MAML). United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4955565.
Ren, X, Gao, H, & Sharp, G. SU-C-BRA-04: Automated Segmentation of Head-And-Neck CT Images for Radiotherapy Treatment Planning Via Multi-Atlas Machine Learning (MAML). United States. doi:10.1118/1.4955565.
Ren, X, Gao, H, and Sharp, G. 2016. "SU-C-BRA-04: Automated Segmentation of Head-And-Neck CT Images for Radiotherapy Treatment Planning Via Multi-Atlas Machine Learning (MAML)". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4955565.
@article{osti_22624326,
title = {SU-C-BRA-04: Automated Segmentation of Head-And-Neck CT Images for Radiotherapy Treatment Planning Via Multi-Atlas Machine Learning (MAML)},
author = {Ren, X and Gao, H and Sharp, G},
abstractNote = {Purpose: Accurate image segmentation is a crucial step during image guided radiation therapy. This work proposes multi-atlas machine learning (MAML) algorithm for automated segmentation of head-and-neck CT images. Methods: As the first step, the algorithm utilizes normalized mutual information as similarity metric, affine registration combined with multiresolution B-Spline registration, and then fuses together using the label fusion strategy via Plastimatch. As the second step, the following feature selection strategy is proposed to extract five feature components from reference or atlas images: intensity (I), distance map (D), box (B), center of gravity (C) and stable point (S). The box feature B is novel. It describes a relative position from each point to minimum inscribed rectangle of ROI. The center-of-gravity feature C is the 3D Euclidean distance from a sample point to the ROI center of gravity, and then S is the distance of the sample point to the landmarks. Then, we adopt random forest (RF) in Scikit-learn, a Python module integrating a wide range of state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms as classifier. Different feature and atlas strategies are used for different ROIs for improved performance, such as multi-atlas strategy with reference box for brainstem, and single-atlas strategy with reference landmark for optic chiasm. Results: The algorithm was validated on a set of 33 CT images with manual contours using a leave-one-out cross-validation strategy. Dice similarity coefficients between manual contours and automated contours were calculated: the proposed MAML method had an improvement from 0.79 to 0.83 for brainstem and 0.11 to 0.52 for optic chiasm with respect to multi-atlas segmentation method (MA). Conclusion: A MAML method has been proposed for automated segmentation of head-and-neck CT images with improved performance. It provides the comparable result in brainstem and the improved result in optic chiasm compared with MA. Xuhua Ren and Hao Gao were partially supported by the NSFC (#11405105), the 973 Program (#2015CB856000), and the Shanghai Pujiang Talent Program (#14PJ1404500).},
doi = {10.1118/1.4955565},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Purpose: To develop an automated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parotid segmentation method to monitor radiation-induced parotid gland changes in patients after head and neck radiation therapy (RT). Methods and Materials: The proposed method combines the atlas registration method, which captures the global variation of anatomy, with a machine learning technology, which captures the local statistical features, to automatically segment the parotid glands from the MRIs. The segmentation method consists of 3 major steps. First, an atlas (pre-RT MRI and manually contoured parotid gland mask) is built for each patient. A hybrid deformable image registration is used to map the pre-RTmore » MRI to the post-RT MRI, and the transformation is applied to the pre-RT parotid volume. Second, the kernel support vector machine (SVM) is trained with the subject-specific atlas pair consisting of multiple features (intensity, gradient, and others) from the aligned pre-RT MRI and the transformed parotid volume. Third, the well-trained kernel SVM is used to differentiate the parotid from surrounding tissues in the post-RT MRIs by statistically matching multiple texture features. A longitudinal study of 15 patients undergoing head and neck RT was conducted: baseline MRI was acquired prior to RT, and the post-RT MRIs were acquired at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up examinations. The resulting segmentations were compared with the physicians' manual contours. Results: Successful parotid segmentation was achieved for all 15 patients (42 post-RT MRIs). The average percentage of volume differences between the automated segmentations and those of the physicians' manual contours were 7.98% for the left parotid and 8.12% for the right parotid. The average volume overlap was 91.1% ± 1.6% for the left parotid and 90.5% ± 2.4% for the right parotid. The parotid gland volume reduction at follow-up was 25% at 3 months, 27% at 6 months, and 16% at 12 months. Conclusions: We have validated our automated parotid segmentation algorithm in a longitudinal study. This segmentation method may be useful in future studies to address radiation-induced xerostomia in head and neck radiation therapy.« less
  • Purpose: Accurate delineation of organs at risk (OARs) is a precondition for intensity modulated radiation therapy. However, manual delineation of OARs is time consuming and prone to high interobserver variability. Because of image artifacts and low image contrast between different structures, however, the number of available approaches for autosegmentation of structures in the head-neck area is still rather low. In this project, a new approach for automated segmentation of head-neck CT images that combine the robustness of multiatlas-based segmentation with the flexibility of geodesic active contours and the prior knowledge provided by statistical appearance models is presented. Methods: The presentedmore » approach is using an atlas-based segmentation approach in combination with label fusion in order to initialize a segmentation pipeline that is based on using statistical appearance models and geodesic active contours. An anatomically correct approximation of the segmentation result provided by atlas-based segmentation acts as a starting point for an iterative refinement of this approximation. The final segmentation result is based on using model to image registration and geodesic active contours, which are mutually influencing each other. Results: 18 CT images in combination with manually segmented labels of parotid glands and brainstem were used in a leave-one-out cross validation scheme in order to evaluate the presented approach. For this purpose, 50 different statistical appearance models have been created and used for segmentation. Dice coefficient (DC), mean absolute distance and max. Hausdorff distance between the autosegmentation results and expert segmentations were calculated. An average Dice coefficient of DC = 0.81 (right parotid gland), DC = 0.84 (left parotid gland), and DC = 0.86 (brainstem) could be achieved. Conclusions: The presented framework provides accurate segmentation results for three important structures in the head neck area. Compared to a segmentation approach based on using multiple atlases in combination with label fusion, the proposed hybrid approach provided more accurate results within a clinically acceptable amount of time.« less
  • Purpose: Evaluate the accuracy of atlas-based auto segmentation of organs at risk (OARs) on both helical CT (HCT) and cone beam CT (CBCT) images in head and neck (HN) cancer adaptive radiotherapy (ART). Methods: Six HN patients treated in the ART process were included in this study. For each patient, three images were selected: pretreatment planning CT (PreTx-HCT), in treatment CT for replanning (InTx-HCT) and a CBCT acquired in the same day of the InTx-HCT. Three clinical procedures of auto segmentation and deformable registration performed in the ART process were evaluated: a) auto segmentation on PreTx-HCT using multi-subject atlases, b)more » intra-patient propagation of OARs from PreTx-HCT to InTx-HCT using deformable HCT-to-HCT image registration, and c) intra-patient propagation of OARs from PreTx-HCT to CBCT using deformable CBCT-to-HCT image registration. Seven OARs (brainstem, cord, L/R parotid, L/R submandibular gland and mandible) were manually contoured on PreTx-HCT and InTx-HCT for comparison. In addition, manual contours on InTx-CT were copied on the same day CBCT, and a local region rigid body registration was performed accordingly for each individual OAR. For procedures a) and b), auto contours were compared to manual contours, and for c) auto contours were compared to those rigidly transferred contours on CBCT. Dice similarity coefficients (DSC) and mean surface distances of agreement (MSDA) were calculated for evaluation. Results: For procedure a), the mean DSC/MSDA of most OARs are >80%/±2mm. For intra-patient HCT-to-HCT propagation, the Resultimproved to >85%/±1.5mm. Compared to HCT-to-HCT, the mean DSC for HCT-to-CBCT propagation drops ∼2–3% and MSDA increases ∼0.2mm. This Resultindicates that the inferior imaging quality of CBCT seems only degrade auto propagation performance slightly. Conclusion: Auto segmentation and deformable propagation can generate OAR structures on HCT and CBCT images with clinically acceptable accuracy. Therefore, they can be reliably implemented in the clinical HN ART process.« less
  • Purpose: To evaluate the performance of commercially available automatic segmentation tools built into treatment planning systems (TPS) in terms of their segmentation accuracy and flexibility in customization. Methods: Twelve head-and-neck cancer patients and twelve thoracic cancer patients were retrospectively selected to benchmark the model-based segmentation (MBS) and atlas-based segmentation (ABS) in RayStation TPS and the Smart Probabilistic Image Contouring Engine (SPICE) in Pinnacle TPS. Multi-atlas contouring service (MACS) that was developed in-house as a plug-in of Pinnacle TPS was evaluated as well. Manual contours used in clinic were reviewed and modified for consistency and served as ground truth for themore » evaluation. Head-and-neck evaluation included six regions of interest (ROIs): left and right parotid glands, brainstem, spinal cord, mandible, and submandibular glands. Thoracic evaluation includes seven ROIs: left and right lungs, spinal cord, heart, esophagus, and left and right brachial plexus. Auto-segmented contours were compared with the manual contours using the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and the mean surface distance (MSD). Results: In head- and-neck evaluation, only mandible has a high accuracy in all segmentations (DSC>85%); SPICE achieved DSC>70% for parotid glands; MACS achieved this for both parotid glands and submandibular glands; and RayStation ABS achieved this for spinal cord. In thoracic evaluation, SPICE achieved the best in lung and heart segmentation, while MACS achieved the best for all other structures. The less distinguishable structures on CT images, such as brainstem, spinal cord, parotid glands, submandibular glands, esophagus, and brachial plexus, showed great variability in different segmentation tools (mostly DSC<70% and MSD>3mm). The template for RayStation ABS can be easily customized by users, while RayStation MBS and SPICE rely on the vendors to provide the templates/models. Conclusion: Great variability was observed in different segmentation tools applied to different structures. These commercially-available segmentation tools should be carefully evaluated before clinical use.« less
  • Purpose: In current clinical practice, head and neck (H and N) hyperthermia treatment planning (HTP) is solely based on computed tomography (CT) images. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides superior soft-tissue contrast over CT. The purpose of the authors’ study is to investigate the relevance of using MRI in addition to CT for patient modeling in H and N HTP. Methods: CT and MRI scans were acquired for 11 patients in an immobilization mask. Three observers manually segmented on CT, MRI T1 weighted (MRI-T1w), and MRI T2 weighted (MRI-T2w) images the following thermo-sensitive tissues: cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, myelum, sclera, lens, vitreousmore » humor, and the optical nerve. For these tissues that are used for patient modeling in H and N HTP, the interobserver variation of manual tissue segmentation in CT and MRI was quantified with the mean surface distance (MSD). Next, the authors compared the impact of CT and CT and MRI based patient models on the predicted temperatures. For each tissue, the modality was selected that led to the lowest observer variation and inserted this in the combined CT and MRI based patient model (CT and MRI), after a deformable image registration. In addition, a patient model with a detailed segmentation of brain tissues (including white matter, gray matter, and cerebrospinal fluid) was created (CT and MRI{sub db}). To quantify the relevance of MRI based segmentation for H and N HTP, the authors compared the predicted maximum temperatures in the segmented tissues (T{sub max}) and the corresponding specific absorption rate (SAR) of the patient models based on (1) CT, (2) CT and MRI, and (3) CT and MRI{sub db}. Results: In MRI, a similar or reduced interobserver variation was found compared to CT (maximum of median MSD in CT: 0.93 mm, MRI-T1w: 0.72 mm, MRI-T2w: 0.66 mm). Only for the optical nerve the interobserver variation is significantly lower in CT compared to MRI (median MSD in CT: 0.58 mm, MRI-T1w: 1.27 mm, MRI-T2w: 1.40 mm). Patient models based on CT (T{sub max}: 38.0 °C) and CT and MRI (T{sub max}: 38.1 °C) result in similar simulated temperatures, while CT and MRI{sub db} (T{sub max}: 38.5 °C) resulted in significantly higher temperatures. The SAR corresponding to these temperatures did not differ significantly. Conclusions: Although MR imaging reduces the interobserver variation in most tissues, it does not affect simulated local tissue temperatures. However, the improved soft-tissue contrast provided by MRI allows generating a detailed brain segmentation, which has a strong impact on the predicted local temperatures and hence may improve simulation guided hyperthermia.« less