Differences Between MRI- and CT-Based Delineation of Target Volume and Organs at Risk in High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy of Cervix

  • Rangarajan RamyaEmail author
  • S. Saravanan
  • J. Vijayalakshmi
  • K. Kumari
Original Article



With superior soft tissue imaging characteristics, MRI is better than CT in determining the local disease extent during intracavitary brachytherapy of carcinoma cervix. The aim of the study is to evaluate the differences in dimensions and volumes of the target and organs at risk and the subsequent changes in dosimetry between MRI- and CT-based plans.

Methods and Materials

MRI and CT datasets of 34 locally advanced cervical cancer patients taken up for intracavitary brachytherapy between January and September 2017 were analyzed. The target volumes and organs at risk, namely bladder, rectum and sigmoid, were contoured by the same radiation oncologist on both the MRI and CT images as per the GEC ESTRO guidelines. The dimensions of HRCTV, the dose volume parameters of the target and OAR were recorded for the CT and MRI plans.


CT image significantly overestimated the width (p = 0.000) and thickness (p = 0.009) of HRCTV. The volumes of HRCTV (p = 0.000) and IRCTV (p = 0.041) were larger with CT image compared to MRI. There was no statistically significant difference between rectal (p = 0.107) and sigmoid (p = 0.365) volumes on CT and MRI. There was statistically significant difference (all p < 0.05) between the dose received by 100%, 98%, 90% and 50% (D100, D98, D90 and D50, respectively) of HRCTV and IRCTV on CT and MRI. There was statistically significant difference (all p < 0.05) in the dose delivered to the bladder. However, there was no statistically significant difference (all p > 0.05) in the dose received by rectum and sigmoid on CT and MR plans.


MRI-based brachytherapy planning has shown considerable improvements in tumor control and reductions in normal tissue toxicity. However, the high cost of MRI and non-availability of MRI preclude its use in many centers. CT, on the other hand, is widely available, but it can lead to overestimation of the target, at the time of brachytherapy. Hence, it is important to identify the subset of patients who will benefit from MRI-based planning at the time of brachytherapy.


HDR brachytherapy Cervical cancer CT planning MRI planning 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Gynecologic Oncologists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyGovernment Royapettah HospitalChennaiIndia

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