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Volume 24, Number 2, 2019

A review of automatic lung tumour segmentation in the era of 4DCT

Nadine Wong Yuzhen, Sarah Barrett


Aim To review the literature on auto-contouring methods of lung tumour volumes on four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT). Background Manual delineation of lung tumour on 4DCT has been the gold standard in clinical practice. However, it is resource intensive due to the high volume of data which results in longer contouring duration and uncertainties in defining target. Auto-contouring may present as an attractive alternative by decreasing manual inputs required, thus improving the contouring process. This review aims to assess the accuracy, variability and contouring duration of automatic contouring compared with manual contouring in lung cancer on 4DCT datasets. Materials and methods A search and review of literature were conducted to identify studies regarding lung tumour contouring on 4DCT. Manual and auto-contours were assessed and compared based on accuracy, variability and contouring duration. Results Thirteen studies were included in this review and their results were compared. Accuracy of auto-contours was found to be comparable to manual contours. Auto-contouring resulted in lesser inter-observer variation when compared to manual contouring, however there was no significant reduction in intra-observer variability. Additionally, contouring duration was reduced with auto-contouring although long computation time could present as a bottleneck. Conclusion Auto-contouring is reliable and efficient, producing accurate contours with better consistency compared to manual contours. However, manual inputs would still be required both before and after auto-propagation.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2019; 24(2) : 208-220

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