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Patient-specific synthetic magnetic resonance imaging generation from cone beam computed tomography for image guidance in liver stereotactic body radiation therapy. Precis Radiat Oncol 2022 Jun;6(2):110-118



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85131520999 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)


OBJECTIVE: Despite its prevalence, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) has poor soft-tissue contrast, making it challenging to localize liver tumors. We propose a patient-specific deep learning model to generate synthetic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from CBCT to improve tumor localization.

METHODS: A key innovation is using patient-specific CBCT-MRI image pairs to train a deep learning model to generate synthetic MRI from CBCT. Specifically, patient planning CT was deformably registered to prior MRI, and then used to simulate CBCT with simulated projections and Feldkamp, Davis, and Kress reconstruction. These CBCT-MRI images were augmented using translations and rotations to generate enough patient-specific training data. A U-Net-based deep learning model was developed and trained to generate synthetic MRI from CBCT in the liver, and then tested on a different CBCT dataset. Synthetic MRIs were quantitatively evaluated against ground-truth MRI.

RESULTS: The synthetic MRI demonstrated superb soft-tissue contrast with clear tumor visualization. On average, the synthetic MRI achieved 28.01, 0.025, and 0.929 for peak signal-to-noise ratio, mean square error, and structural similarity index, respectively, outperforming CBCT images. The model performance was consistent across all three patients tested.

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated the feasibility of a patient-specific model to generate synthetic MRI from CBCT for liver tumor localization, opening up a potential to democratize MRI guidance in clinics with conventional LINACs.

Author List

Zhang Z, Jiang Z, Zhong H, Lu K, Yin FF, Ren L


Hualiang Zhong PhD Associate Professor in the Radiation Oncology department at Medical College of Wisconsin