Evaluation of Deformable Image Registration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Deformable image registration (DIR) is a type of registration that calculates a deformable vector field (DVF) between two image data sets and permits contour and dose propagation. However the calculation of a DVF is considered an ill-posed problem, as there is no exact solution to a deformation problem, therefore all DVFs calculated contain errors. As a result it is important to evaluate and assess the accuracy and limitations of any DIR algorithm intended for clinical use. The influence of image quality on the DIR algorithms performance was also evaluated.
The hybrid DIR algorithm in RayStation 126.96.36.199 was assessed using a number of evaluation methods and data. The evaluation methods were point of interest (POI) propagation, contour propagation and dose measurements. The data types used were phantom and patient data. A number of metrics were used for quantitative analysis and visual inspection was used for qualitative analysis.
The quantitative and qualitative results indicated that all DVFs calculated by the DIR algorithm contained errors which translated into errors in the propagated contours and propagated dose. The results showed that the errors were largest for small contour volumes (<20cm3) and for large anatomical volume changes between the image sets, which pushes the algorithms ability to deform, a significant decrease in accuracy was observed for anatomical volume changes of greater than 10%. When the propagated contours in the head and neck were used for planning the errors in the DVF were found to cause under dosing to the target tumour by up to 32% and over dosing to the organs at risk (OAR) by up to 12% which is clinically significant. The results also indicated that the image quality does not have a significant effect on the DIR algorithms calculations. Dose measurements indicated errors in the DVF calculations that could potentially be clinically significant. The results indicate that contour propagation and dose propagation must be used with caution if clinical use is intended. For clinical use contour propagation requires evaluation of every propagated contour by an expert user and dose propagation requires thorough evaluation of the DVF.