Time-resolved volumetric MRI in MRI-guided radiotherapy: An in silico comparative analysis

C. Paganelli, S. Portoso, N. Garau, G. Meschini, R. Via, G. Buizza, P. Keall, M. Riboldi, G. Baroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MRI-treatment units enable 2D cine-MRI centred in the tumour for motion detection in radiotherapy, but they lack 3D information due to spatio-temporal limits. To derive time-resolved 3D information, different approaches have been proposed in the literature, but a rigorous comparison among these strategies has not yet been performed. The goal of this study is to quantitatively investigate five published strategies that derive time-resolved volumetric MRI in MRI-guided radiotherapy: Propagation, out-of-plane motion compensation, Fayad model, ROI-based model and Stemkens model. Comparisons were performed using an MRI digital phantom generated with six different patient-derived motion signals and tumour-shapes. An average 4D cycle was generated as well as 2D cine-MRI data with corresponding 3D in-room ground truth. Quantitative analysis was performed by comparing the estimated 3D volume to the ground truth available for each 2D cine-MRI sample. A grouped patient statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the performance of the selected methods, in case of tumour tracking or motion estimation of the whole anatomy. Analyses were also performed based on patient characteristics. Quantitative ranking of the investigated methods highlighted that Propagation and ROI-based model strategies achieved an overall median tumour centre of mass 3D distance from the ground truth of 1.1 mm and 1.3 mm, respectively, and a diaphragm distance below 1.6 mm. Higher errors and variabilities were instead obtained for other methods, which lack the ability to compensate for in-room variations and to account for regional changes. These results were especially evident when further analysing patient characteristics, where errors above 2 mm/5 mm in tumour/diaphragm were found for more irregular breathing patterns in case of out-of-plane motion compensation, Fayad and Stemkens models. These findings suggest the potential of the proposed in silico framework to develop and compare strategies to estimate time-resolved 3DMRI in MRI-guided radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185013
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 19 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • MRI-guidance
  • organ motion
  • radiotherapy
  • time-resolved MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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