Nolan MW, Randall EK, LaRue SM, et al.
Consistency and accuracy in normal tissue contouring in radiotherapy planning is important for comparison of dosimetry and toxicity data between studies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) improves the accuracy of optic apparatus contouring as compared with computed tomography (CT) in both normal and acromegalic cats, and to construct a reference contour of the feline optic apparatus. Both CT and MRI were performed on cadavers of four healthy cats, as well as on five radiotherapy patients with feline acromegaly. Contours of the optic apparatus were drawn for each imaging study. The volume, center of mass, and the degree of concordance and mismatch were determined for each, and compared with a reference standard. Precontrast CT was found to overestimate volume as compared with MRI in acromegalic cats; no other statistically significant differences were identified in the volume, concordance index or mismatch index values of normal or acromegalic cats. Contours derived from T2-wieghted MRI were subjectively considered to best match the reference standard. The caudal margin of the optic chiasm and the optic tracts were difficult to confidently contour regardless of which imaging modality and/or sequence was used. In conclusion, findings from the current study supported the use of a combination of CT and MR images and a priori knowledge of the shape of the optic apparatus to guide accurate contouring, especially where image contrast is not sufficient to clearly delineate the margins. Guidelines for feline optic apparatus contouring developed in this study can be used for future studies.