On the dosimetric effect and reduction of inverse consistency and transitivity errors in deformable image registration for dose accumulation

Edward T. Bender, Nicholas Hardcastle, Wolfgang A. Tomé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose: Deformable image registration (DIR) is necessary for accurate dose accumulation between multiple radiotherapy image sets. DIR algorithms can suffer from inverse and transitivity inconsistencies. When using deformation vector fields (DVFs) that exhibit inverse-inconsistency and are nontransitive, dose accumulation on a given image set via different image pathways will lead to different accumulated doses. The purpose of this study was to investigate the dosimetric effect of and propose a postprocessing solution to reduce inverse consistency and transitivity errors. Methods: Four MVCT images and four phases of a lung 4DCT, each with an associated calculated dose, were selected for analysis. DVFs between all four images in each data set were created using the Fast Symmetric Demons algorithm. Dose was accumulated on the fourth image in each set using DIR via two different image pathways. The two accumulated doses on the fourth image were compared. The inverse consistency and transitivity errors in the DVFs were then reduced. The dose accumulation was repeated using the processed DVFs, the results of which were compared with the accumulated dose from the original DVFs. To evaluate the influence of the postprocessing technique on DVF accuracy, the original and processed DVF accuracy was evaluated on the lung 4DCT data on which anatomical landmarks had been identified by an expert. Results: Dose accumulation to the same image via different image pathways resulted in two different accumulated dose results. After the inverse consistency errors were reduced, the difference between the accumulated doses diminished. The difference was further reduced after reducing the transitivity errors. The postprocessing technique had minimal effect on the accuracy of the DVF for the lung 4DCT images. Conclusions: This study shows that inverse consistency and transitivity errors in DIR have a significant dosimetric effect in dose accumulation; Depending on the image pathway taken to accumulate the dose, different results may be obtained. A postprocessing technique that reduces inverse consistency and transitivity error is presented, which allows for consistent dose accumulation regardless of the image pathway followed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-280
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • deformable image registration
  • dose accumulation
  • inverse consistent
  • transitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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