Comparison of 3D MRI with high sampling efficiency and 2D multiplanar MRI for contouring in cervix cancer brachytherapy

  • Primož Petrič
  • Robert Hudej
  • Peter Rogelj
  • Mateja Blas
  • Barbara Šegedin
  • Helena Barbara Zobec Logar
  • Johannes Carl Athanasios Dimopoulos


Introduction: MRI sequences with short scanning times may improve accessibility of image guided adaptive brachytherapy (IGABT) of cervix cancer. We assessed the value of 3D MRI for contouring by comparing it to 2D multi-planar MRI.

Material and methods: In 14 patients, 2D and 3D pelvic MRI were obtained at IGABT. High risk clinical target volume (HR CTV) was delineated by 2 experienced radiation oncologists, using the conventional (2D MRI-based) and test (3D MRI-based) approach. The value of 3D MRI for contouring was evaluated by using the inter-approach and interobserver analysis of volumetric and topographic contouring uncertainties. To assess the magnitude of deviation from the conventional approach when using the test approach, the inter-approach analysis of contouring uncertainties was carried out for both observers. In addition, to assess reliability of 3D MRI for contouring, the impact of contouring approach on the magnitude of inter-observer delineation uncertainties was analysed.

Results: No approach- or observer - specific differences in HR CTV sizes, volume overlap, or distances between contours were identified. When averaged over all delineated slices, the distances between contours in the interapproach analysis were 2.6 (Standard deviation (SD) 0.4) mm and 2.8 (0.7) mm for observers 1 and 2, respectively. The magnitude of topographic and volumetric inter-observer contouring uncertainties, as obtained on the conventional approach, was maintained on the test approach. This variation was comparable to the inter-approach uncertainties with distances between contours of 3.1 (SD 0.8) and 3.0 (SD 0.7) mm on conventional and test approach, respectively. Variation was most pronounced at caudal HR CTV levels in both approaches and observers.

Conclusion: 3D MRI could potentially replace multiplanar 2D MRI in cervix cancer IGABT, shortening the overall MRI scanning time and facilitating the contouring process, thus making this treatment method more widely employed.

How to Cite
Petrič, P., Hudej, R., Rogelj, P., Blas, M., Šegedin, B., Zobec Logar, H. B., & Athanasios Dimopoulos, J. C. (2012). Comparison of 3D MRI with high sampling efficiency and 2D multiplanar MRI for contouring in cervix cancer brachytherapy. Radiology and Oncology, 46(3). Retrieved from
Clinical oncology