Purpose: The aim of this article is to establish a comprehensive contouring guideline for treatment planning using only magnetic resonance images through an up-to-date set of organs at risk (OARs), recommended organ boundaries, and relevant suggestions for the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based delineation of OARs in the head and neck (H&N) region.
Methods and materials: After a detailed review of the literature, MRI data were collected from the H&N region of healthy volunteers. OARs were delineated in the axial, coronal, and sagittal planes on T2-weighted sequences. Every contour defined was revised by 4 radiation oncologists and subsequently by 2 independent senior experts (H&N radiation oncologist and radiologist). After revision, the final structures were presented to the consortium partners.
Results: A definitive consensus was reached after multi-institutional review. On that basis, we provided a detailed anatomic and functional description and specific MRI characteristics of the OARs.
Conclusions: In the era of precision radiation therapy, the need for well-built, straightforward contouring guidelines is on the rise. Precise, uniform, delineation-based, automated OAR segmentation on MRI may lead to increased accuracy in terms of organ boundaries and analysis of dose-dependent sequelae for an adequate definition of normal tissue complication probability.
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of American Society for Radiation Oncology.