PURPOSE: MR-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) relies on the daily assignment of a relative electron density (RED) map to allow the fraction specific dose calculation. One approach to assign the RED map consists of segmenting the daily magnetic resonance image into five different density levels and assigning a RED bulk value to each level to generate a synthetic CT (sCT). The aim of this study is to evaluate the dose calculation accuracy of this approach for applications in MRgRT.
METHODS: A planning CT (pCT) was acquired for 26 patients with abdominal and pelvic lesions and segmented in five levels similar to an online approach: air, lung, fat, soft tissue and bone. For each patient, the median RED value was calculated for fat, soft tissue and bone. Two sCTs were generated assigning different bulk values to the segmented levels on pCT: The sCTICRU uses the RED values recommended by ICRU46, and the sCTtailor uses the median patient-specific RED values. The same treatment plan was calculated on two the sCTs and the pCT. The dose calculation accuracy was investigated in terms of gamma analysis and dose volume histogram parameters.
RESULTS: Good agreement was found between dose calculated on sCTs and pCT (gamma passing rate 1%/1 mm equal to 91.2% ± 6.9% for sCTICRU and 93.7% ± 5.3% b or sCTtailor). The mean difference in estimating V95 (PTV) was equal to 0.2% using sCTtailor and 1.2% using sCTICRU, respect to pCT values CONCLUSIONS: The bulk sCT guarantees a high level of dose calculation accuracy also in presence of magnetic field, making this approach suitable to MRgRT. This accuracy can be improved by using patient-specific RED values.