Effects of voxelization on dose volume histogram accuracy

Kyle Sunderland, Csaba Pinter, Andras Lasso, Gabor Fichtinger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: In radiotherapy treatment planning systems, structures of interest such as targets and organs at risk are stored as 2D contours on evenly spaced planes. In order to be used in various algorithms, contours must be converted into binary labelmap volumes using voxelization. The voxelization process results in lost information, which has little effect on the volume of large structures, but has significant impact on small structures, which contain few voxels. Volume differences for segmented structures affects metrics such as dose volume histograms (DVH), which are used for treatment planning. Our goal is to evaluate the impact of voxelization on segmented structures, as well as how factors like voxel size affects metrics, such as DVH. METHODS: We create a series of implicit functions, which represent simulated structures. These structures are sampled at varying resolutions, and compared to labelmaps with high sub-millimeter resolutions. We generate DVH and evaluate voxelization error for the same structures at different resolutions by calculating the agreement acceptance percentage between the DVH. RESULTS: We implemented tools for analysis as modules in the SlicerRT toolkit based on the 3D Slicer platform. We found that there were large DVH variation from the baseline for small structures or for structures located in regions with a high dose gradient, potentially leading to the creation of suboptimal treatment plans. CONCLUSION: This work demonstrates that labelmap and dose volume voxel size is an important factor in DVH accuracy, which must be accounted for in order to ensure the development of accurate treatment plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2016: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600218
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2016: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 28 2016Mar 1 2016


OtherMedical Imaging 2016: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Dose volume histogram
  • Radiation therapy
  • Treatment planning
  • Voxelization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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