Pseudo-CT generation from multi-parametric MRI using a novel multi-channel multi-path conditional generative adversarial network for nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients

Xin Tie, Sai Kit Lam, Yong Zhang, Kar Ho Lee, Kwok Hung Au, Jing Cai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To develop and evaluate a novel method for pseudo-CT generation from multi-parametric MR images using multi-channel multi-path generative adversarial network (MCMP-GAN). Methods: Pre- and post-contrast T1-weighted (T1-w), T2-weighted (T2-w) MRI, and treatment planning CT images of 32 nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients were employed to train a pixel-to-pixel MCMP-GAN. The network was developed based on a 5-level Residual U-Net (ResU-Net) with the channel-based independent feature extraction network to generate pseudo-CT images from multi-parametric MR images. The discriminator with five convolutional layers was added to distinguish between the real CT and pseudo-CT images, improving the nonlinearity and prediction accuracy of the model. Eightfold cross validation was implemented to validate the proposed MCMP-GAN. The pseudo-CT images were evaluated against the corresponding planning CT images based on mean absolute error (MAE), peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), Dice similarity coefficient (DSC), and Structural similarity index (SSIM). Similar comparisons were also performed against the multi-channel single-path GAN (MCSP-GAN), the single-channel single-path GAN (SCSP-GAN). Results: It took approximately 20 h to train the MCMP-GAN model on a Quadro P6000, and less than 10 s to generate all pseudo-CT images for the subjects in the test set. The average head MAE between pseudo-CT and planning CT was 75.7 ± 14.6 Hounsfield Units (HU) for MCMP-GAN, significantly (P-values < 0.05) lower than that for MCSP-GAN (79.2 ± 13.0 HU) and SCSP-GAN (85.8 ± 14.3 HU). For bone only, the MCMP-GAN yielded a smaller mean MAE (194.6 ± 38.9 HU) than MCSP-GAN (203.7 ± 33.1 HU), SCSP-GAN (227.0 ± 36.7 HU). The average PSNR of MCMP-GAN (29.1 ± 1.6) was found to be higher than that of MCSP-GAN (28.8 ± 1.2) and SCSP-GAN (28.2 ± 1.3). In terms of metrics for image similarity, MCMP-GAN achieved the highest SSIM (0.92 ± 0.02) but did not show significantly improved bone DSC results in comparison with MCSP-GAN. Conclusions: We developed a novel multi-channel GAN approach for generating pseudo-CT from multi-parametric MR images. Our preliminary results in NPC patients showed that the MCMP-GAN method performed apparently superior to the U-Net-GAN and SCSP-GAN, and slightly better than MCSP-GAN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1750-1762
Number of pages13
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number4
Early online dateFeb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • deep learning
  • multi-parametric MRI
  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • pseudo-CT
  • radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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