A recursive ensemble organ segmentation (REOS) framework: Application in brain radiotherapy

Haibin Chen, Weiguo Lu, Mingli Chen, Linghong Zhou, Robert Timmerman, Dan Tu, Lucien A Nedzi, Zabi Wardak, Steve Jiang, Xin Zhen, Xuejun Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The aim of this work is to develop a novel recursive ensemble OARs segmentation (REOS) framework for accurate organs-at-risk (OARs) automatic segmentation. The REOS recursively segment individual OARs by ensembling images features extracted from an organ localization module and a contour detection module. Both modules are based on a 3D U-Net architecture. The organ localization module is trained for rough segmentation to localize a region of interest (ROI) that encompasses the to-be-delineated OAR, while the contour detection module is trained to segment the OAR within the identified ROI. In this study, the developed REOS framework is applied for brain radiotherapy on segmenting six OARs including the eyes, the brainstem (BS), the optical nerves and the chiasm. Eighty T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI) from 80 brain cancer patients' cases with OARs' gold standard contours were collected for training and testing REOS. On 20 testing cases, the REOS achieve a high segmentation accuracy with Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) mean and standard deviation of 93.9% ± 1.4%, 94.5% ± 2.0%, 90.6% ± 2.7%, on the left and right eyes and the BS, respectively. On small and segmentation-challenging organs, the left and right optical nerves and the chiasm, the REOS achieves DSC of 78.0% ± 10.5%, 82.2% ± 5.9% and 71.1% ± 9.1%. The satisfactory performances demonstrated the effectiveness of the REOS in OARs segmentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025015
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 2019


  • brain radiotherapy
  • deep learning
  • segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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