Publication Details
Jennifer Dhont, Dirk Verellen, Isabelle Mollaert, Verdi Vanreusel, Jef Vandemeulebroucke

Radiotherapy and Oncology

Contribution To Journal


Introduction: Digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) represent valuable patient-specific pre-treatment training data for tumor tracking algorithms. However, using current rendering methods, the similarity of the DRRs to real X-ray images is limited, requires time-consuming measurements and/or are computationally expensive. In this study we present RealDRR, a novel framework for highly realistic and computationally efficient DRR rendering. Materials and methods: RealDRR consists of two components applied sequentially to render a DRR. First, a raytracer is applied for forward projection from 3D CT data to a 2D image. Second, a conditional Generative Adverserial Network (cGAN) is applied to translate the 2D forward projection to a realistic 2D DRR. The planning CT and CBCT projections from a CIRS thorax phantom and 6 radiotherapy patients (3 prostate, 3 brain) were split in training and test sets for evaluating the intra-patient, inter-patient and inter-anatomical region generalization performance of the trained framework. Several image similarity metrics, as well as a verification based on template matching, were used between the rendered DRRs and respective CBCT projections in the test sets, and results were compared to those of a current state-of-the-art DRR rendering method. Results: When trained on 800 CBCT projection images from two patients and tested on a third unseen patient from either anatomical region, RealDRR outperformed the current state-of-the-art with statistical significance on all metrics (two-sample t-test, p < 0.05). Once trained, the framework is able to render 100 highly realistic DRRs in under two minutes. Conclusion: A novel framework for realistic and efficient DRR rendering was proposed. As the framework requires a reasonable amount of computational resources, the internal parameters can be tailored to imaging systems and protocols through on-site training on retrospective imaging data.

DOI scopus