Dedicated MRI simulation for cervical cancer radiation treatment planning: assessing the impact on clinical target volume delineation

Jacqueline Veera*, Karen Lim, Jason A. Dowling, Chelsie O'Connor, Lois C. Holloway, Shalini K. Vinod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides excellent soft tissue definition of pelvic tumours and organs. The aim of this study was to quantify differences in delineated clinical target volumes (CTVs) between computed tomography (CT) and MRI. Methods: Twenty patients with locally advanced gynaecological malignancies were recruited. Patients underwent dedicated MRI simulation following CT simulation. Four clinicians independently contoured each CT and MRI. CTV structures were contoured using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) guidelines and lymph node CTV (LN-CTV) according to published guidelines. Interobserver variability was analysed using the dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and mean absolute surface distance (MASD). Results: Gross tumour volume delineation was more consistent on MRI compared to CT, the DSC improved from 0.77 on CT to 0.81 on MRI, P < 0.01. GTV volumes were significantly smaller on MRI compared to CT (MRI 92 cc vs. CT 117 cc, P < 0.01). The LN-CTV and combined CTV volumes were both significantly smaller on MRI compared to CT (LN-CTV: MRI 324 cc vs CT 354 cc, P < 0.01 and combined CTV: MRI 560 cc vs CT 600 cc, P < 0.01). The LN-CTV DSC was 0.75 for both MRI and CT, and the combined CTV DSC was 0.81 for MRI and 0.80 for CT, P = 0.27. Vagina and parametria volumes exhibited more variability compared to other structures. Conclusions: Magnetic Resonance Imaging contouring resulted in smaller and more consistently delineated volumes when compared to CT for most CTV structures. An MRI contouring atlas is provided to complement the existing RTOG contouring guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • cervical cancer
  • contouring variability
  • delineation
  • MRI simulation
  • radiation treatment planning


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