Vol 27, No 1 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-01-20

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Evaluation of inter- and intra-observer variations in prostate gland delineation using CT-alone versus CT/TPUS

Valerie Ting Lim1, Angelie Cabe Gacasan1, Jeffrey Kit Loong Tuan23, Terence Wee Kiat Tan23, Youquan Li23, Wen Long Nei23, Wen Shen Looi23, Xinying Lin2, Hong Qi Tan2, Eric Chern-Pin Chua1, Eric Pei Ping Pang21
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2022;27(1):97-103.


Background: This study aims to explore the role of four-dimensional (4D) transperineal ultrasound (TPUS) in the contouring of prostate gland with planning computed tomography (CT) images, in the absence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Materials and methods: Five radiation oncologists (ROs) performed two rounds of prostate gland contouring (single-blinded) on CT-alone and CT/TPUS datasets obtained from 10 patients who underwent TPUS-guided external beam radiotherapy. Parameters include prostate volume, DICE similarity coefficient (DSC) and centroid position. Wilcoxon signed-rank test assessed the significance of inter-modality differences, and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) reflected inter- and intra-observer reliability of parameters.

Results: Inter-modality analysis revealed high agreement (based on DSC and centroid position) of prostate gland contours between CT-alone and CT/TPUS. Statistical significant difference was observed in the superior-inferior direction of the prostate centroid position (p = 0.011). All modalities yielded excellent inter-observer reliability of delineated prostate volume with ICC > 0.9, mean DSC > 0.8 and centroid position: CT-alone (ICC = 1.000) and CT/TPUS (ICC = 0.999) left-right (L/R); CT-alone (ICC = 0.999) and CT/TPUS (ICC = 0.998) anterior-posterior (A/P); CT-alone (ICC = 0.999) and CT/TPUS (ICC = 1.000) superior-inferior (S/I). Similarly, all modalities yielded excellent intra-observer reliability of delineated prostate volume, ICC > 0.9 and mean DSC > 0.8. Lastly, intra-observer reliability was excellent on both imaging modalities for the prostate centroid position, ICC > 0.9.

Conclusion: TPUS does not add significantly to the amount of anatomical information provided by CT images. However, TPUS can supplement planning CT to achieve a higher positional accuracy in the S/I direction if access to CT/MRI fusion is limited.

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