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Med Phys. 2005 Nov;32(11):3355-62.

3D MRI-based tumor delineation of ocular melanoma and its comparison with conventional techniques.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


The aim of this study is to (1) compare the delineation of the tumor volume for ocular melanoma on high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) T2-weighted fast spin echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images with conventional techniques of A- and B-scan ultrasound, transcleral illumination, and placement of tantalum markers around tumor base and (2) to evaluate whether the surgically placed marker ring tumor delineation can be replaced by 3D MRI based tumor delineation. High-resolution 3D T2-weighted fast spin echo (3D FSE) MRI scans were obtained for 60 consecutive ocular melanoma patients using a 1.5 T MRI (GE Medical Systems, Milwaukee, WI), in a standard head coil. These patients were subsequently treated with proton beam therapy at the UC Davis Cyclotron, Davis, CA. The tumor was delineated by placement of tantalum rings (radio-opaque markers) around the tumor periphery as defined by pupillary transillumination during surgery. A point light source, placed against the sclera, was also used to confirm ring agreement with indirect ophthalmoscopy. When necessary, intraoperative ultrasound was also performed. The patients were planned using EYEPLAN software and the tumor volumes were obtained. For analysis, the tumors were divided into four categories based on tumor height and basal diameter. In order to assess the impact of high-resolution 3D T2 FSE MRI, the tumor volumes were outlined on the MRI scans by two independent observers and the tumor volumes calculated for each patient. Six (10%) of 60 patients had tumors, which were not visible on 3D MRI images. These six patients had tumors with tumor heights < or = 3 mm. A small intraobserver variation with a mean of (-0.22 +/- 4)% was seen in tumor volumes delineated by 3D T2 FSE MR images. The ratio of tumor volumes measured on MRI to EYEPLAN for the largest to the smallest tumor volumes varied between 0.993 and 1.02 for 54 patients. The tumor volumes measured directly on 3D T2 FSE MRI ranged from 4.03 to 0.075 cm3. with a mean of 0.87 +/- 0.84 cm3. The tumor shapes obtained from 3D T2 FSE MR images were comparable to the tumor shapes obtained using EYEPLAN software. The demonstration of intraocular tumor volumes with the high-resolution 3D fast spin echo T2 weighted MRI is excellent and provides additional information on tumor shape. We found a high degree of accuracy for tumor volumes with direct MRI volumetric measurements in uveal melanoma patients. In some patients with extra large tumors, the tumor base and shape was modified, because of the additional information obtained from 3D T2 FSE MR images.

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