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Registration by interactive inverse simulation: application for adaptive radiotherapy



This paper introduces a new methodology for semi-automatic registration of anatomical structure deformations. The contribution is to use an interactive inverse simulation of physics-based deformable model, computed in real time.


The method relies on nonlinear finite element method (FEM) within a constraint-based framework. Given a set of few registered points provided by the user, a real-time optimization adapts the boundary conditions and(/or) some parameters of the FEM in order to obtain the adequate geometrical deformations. To dramatically fasten the process, the method relies on a projection of the model in the space of the optimization variables. In this reduced space, a quadratic programming problem is formulated and solved very quickly. The method is validated with numerical examples for retrieving some unknown parameters such as the Young’s modulus and some pressures on the boundaries of the model.


The approach is employed in the context of radiotherapy of the neck where weight loss during the 7 weeks of the therapy modifies the volume of the anatomical structures and induces large deformations. Indeed, sensitive structures such as the parotid glands may cross the target volume due to these deformations which leads to adverse effects for the patient. We thus apply the approach for the registration of the parotid glands during the radiotherapy of the head and neck cancer.


The results show how the method could be used in a clinical routine and be employed in the planning in order to limit the radiations of these glands.

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  1. We emphasize that these points can be interpolated between the nodes of the mesh using the FEM shape functions. In that case, the value of the shape function will be used to fill the rows of matrix \(\mathbf {J}\) corresponding to the Lagrange multipliers.


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Authors would like to thank Pierre Jannin for his advice on validation. The project had the financial support of ANR JCJC Simi3 (Ideas), Oscar Lambret Hospital and Inria Lille Nord-Europe research centre.

Conflict of interest

Eulalie Coevoet, Nick Reynaert, Eric Lartigau, Luis Schiappacasse, Jérémie Dequidt and Christian Duriez declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Eulalie Coevoet.

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Coevoet, E., Reynaert, N., Lartigau, E. et al. Registration by interactive inverse simulation: application for adaptive radiotherapy. Int J CARS 10, 1193–1200 (2015).

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  • Adaptive radiotherapy
  • Non-rigid registration
  • Semi-automatic registration
  • Inverse simulation