Deformable registration-based segmentation of the bowel on Megavoltage CT during pelvic radiotherapy

L. Perna, C. Sini, C. Cozzarini, G. Agnello, G. M. Cattaneo, L. B. Hysing, L. P. Muren, C. Fiorino, R. Calandrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During pelvic radiotherapy bowel loops (BL) are subject to inter-fraction changes. MVCT images have the potential to provide daily bowel segmentation. We assess the feasibility of deformable registration and contour propagation in replacing manual BL segmentation on MVCT. Four observers delineated BL on the planning kVCT and on one therapy MVCT in eight patients. Inter-observer variations in BLs contouring were quantified using DICE index. BLs were then automatically propagated onto MVCT by a commercial software for image deformation and subsequently manually corrected. The agreement between propagated BL/propagated + manually corrected BL vs manual were quantified using the DICE. Contouring times were also compared. The impact on DVH of using the deformable-registration method was assessed. The same procedures were repeated on high-resolution planning-kVCT and therapy-kVCT. MVCTs are adequate to visualize BL (average DICE: 0.815), although worse than kVCT (average DICE:0.889). When comparing propagated vs manual BL, a poor agreement was found (average DICE: 0.564/0.646 for MVCT/KVCT). After manual correction, average DICE indexes increased to 0.810/0.897. The contouring time was reduced to 15 min with the semi-automatic approach from 30 min with manual contouring. DVH parameters of propagated BL were significantly different from manual BL (p < 0.0001); after manual correction, no significant differences were seen. MVCT are suitable for BL visualization. The use of a software to segment BL on MVCT starting from BL-kVCT contours was feasible if followed by manual correction. The method resulted in a substantial reduction of contouring time without detrimental effect on the quality of bowel segmentation and DVH estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)898-904
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Bowel motion
  • Bowel segmentation
  • Deformable registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Deformable registration-based segmentation of the bowel on Megavoltage CT during pelvic radiotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this