Validation of a deep-learning segmentation model for adult and pediatric head and neck radiotherapy in different patient positions

Linda Chen, Patricia Platzer, Christian Reschl, Mansure Schafasand, Ankita Nachankar, Christoph Lukas Hajdusich, Peter Kuess, Markus Stock, Steven Habraken, Antonio Carlino

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Autocontouring for radiotherapy has the potential to significantly save time and reduce interobserver variability. We aimed to assess the performance of a commercial autocontouring model for head and neck (H&N) patients in eight orientations relevant to particle therapy with fixed beam lines, focusing on validation and implementation for routine clinical use.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Autocontouring was performed on sixteen organs at risk (OARs) for 98 adult and pediatric patients with 137 H&N CT scans in eight orientations. A geometric comparison of the autocontours and manual segmentations was performed using the Hausdorff Distance 95th percentile, Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) and surface DSC and compared to interobserver variability where available. Additional qualitative scoring and dose-volume-histogram (DVH) parameters analyses were performed for twenty patients in two positions, consisting of scoring on a 0-3 scale based on clinical usability and comparing the mean (Dmean) and near-maximum (D2%) dose, respectively.

RESULTS: For the geometric analysis, the model performance in head-first-supine straight and hyperextended orientations was in the same range as the interobserver variability. HD95, DSC and surface DSC was heterogeneous in other orientations. No significant geometric differences were found between pediatric and adult autocontours. The qualitative scoring yielded a median score of ≥ 2 for 13/16 OARs while 7/32 DVH parameters were significantly different.

CONCLUSIONS: For head-first-supine straight and hyperextended scans, we found that 13/16 OAR autocontours were suited for use in daily clinical practice and subsequently implemented. Further development is needed for other patient orientations before implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100527
Pages (from-to)100527
JournalPhysics and Imaging in Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


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