Identify the radiotherapy-induced abnormal changes in the patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma

  • Xiuxin Wang
  • Yi Zhao
  • Huiling Zhang
  • Gang Yin
  • Yangkun Luo
  • Zixuan Fan
  • Yin Tian Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Keywords: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), Radiotherapy (RT), injury, classification, structural MRI (sMRI)


Radiotherapy (RT) is the standard treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which often causes inevitable brain injury in the process of treatment. The majority of patients has no abnormal signal or density change of the conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) examination in the long-term follow-up after radiation therapy. However, when there is a visible CT and conventional MR imaging changes, the damage often has been severe and lack of effective treatments, seriously influencing the prognosis of patients. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the abnormal changes in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients after RT. In the present study, we exploited the machine learning framework which contained two parts: feature extraction and classification to automatically detect the brain injury. Our results showed that the method could effectively identify the abnormal regions reduced by radiotherapy. The highest classification accuracy was 82.5 % in the abnormal brain regions. The parahippocampal gyrus was the highest accuracy region, which suggested that the parahippocampal gyrus could be most sensitive to radiotherapy and involved in the pathogenesis of radiotherapy-induced brain injury in NPC patients.


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