Segmentation precision of abdominal anatomy for MRI-based radiotherapy

Camille E. Noel, Fan Zhu, Andrew Y. Lee, Hu Yanle, Parag J. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The limited soft tissue visualization provided by computed tomography, the standard imaging modality for radiotherapy treatment planning and daily localization, has motivated studies on the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for better characterization of treatment sites, such as the prostate and head and neck. However, no studies have been conducted on MRI-based segmentation for the abdomen, a site that could greatly benefit from enhanced soft tissue targeting. We investigated the interobserver and intraobserver precision in segmentation of abdominal organs on MR images for treatment planning and localization. Manual segmentation of 8 abdominal organs was performed by 3 independent observers on MR images acquired from 14 healthy subjects. Observers repeated segmentation 4 separate times for each image set. Interobserver and intraobserver contouring precision was assessed by computing 3-dimensional overlap (Dice coefficient [DC]) and distance to agreement (Hausdorff distance [HD]) of segmented organs. The mean and standard deviation of intraobserver and interobserver DC and HD values were DCintraobserver = 0.89 ± 0.12, HDintraobserver = 3.6mm ± 1.5, DCinterobserver = 0.89 ± 0.15, and HDinterobserver = 3.2mm ± 1.4. Overall, metrics indicated good interobserver/intraobserver precision (mean DC > 0.7, mean HD < 4mm). Results suggest that MRI offers good segmentation precision for abdominal sites. These findings support the utility of MRI for abdominal planning and localization, as emerging MRI technologies, techniques, and onboard imaging devices are beginning to enable MRI-based radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Abdomen
  • Intraobserver interobserver contouring precision
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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