An investigation into positron emission tomography contouring methods across two treatment planning systems
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to provide additional information regarding patient tumor location, size, and staging for radiotherapy treatment planning purposes. This additional information reduces interobserver variability and produces more consistent contouring. It is well recognized that different contouring methodology for PET data results in different contoured volumes. The goal of this study was to compare the difference in PET contouring methods for 2 different treatment planning systems using a phantom dataset and a series of patient datasets. Contouring methodology was compared on the ADAC Pinnacle Treatment Planning System and the CMS XiO Treatment Planning System. Contours were completed on the phantom and patient datasets using a number of PET contouring methods-the standardized uptake value 2.5 method, 30%, 40%, and 50% of the maximum uptake method and the signal to background ratio method. Differences of >15% were observed for PET-contoured volumes between the different treatment planning systems for the same data and the same PET contouring methodology. Contoured volume differences between treatment planning systems were caused by differences in data formatting and display and the different contouring tools available. Differences in treatment planning system as well as contouring methodology should be considered carefully in dose-volume contouring and reporting, especially between centers that may use different treatment planning systems or those that have several different treatment planning systems. © 2013 .