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Contouring Accuracy: The Parotid

Course Details

MDCB Credits: 1.00

ARRT Credits: 0.50

Available Until: 12/31/2021

Non-Member Price: $35.00

Member Price: $20.00

Member PLUS Price: $20.00

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It is free to add this activity to your AAMD library, however, there are Member and Non-Member prices and payment will need to be made on the ProKnow website. 

Contouring Accuracy: The Right Parotid

This program focuses on contouring accuracy and combines the use of education media (documents and learning movies) combined with interactive contouring and measurement of performance compared to a set of “gold” contours provided by an expert radiation oncologist. The focus of this particular training is the Right Parotid.

Why do we focus on contouring accuracy? Technology continues to advance in the area of radiation treatment planning and delivery, promising ever-increasing dose conformality and, more recently, planning automation aimed to limit variability and increase efficiency. However, no matter what new technologies are developed, they all rely on (i.e. they assume) high accuracy in the contouring of targets and organs-at-risk (OAR). If anatomic contouring lacks in precision or accuracy, then – no matter how conformal the dose appears, or how accurate the dose calculation is proven, or how high the quality of the plan in terms of meeting objectives – the reviewed and approved plan are not real. Therefore it is necessary that each planner has the best contouring skills possible.


  1. Structure-specific refresher course
    1. Overview
      1. What is this structure?
      2. What are the critical functions?
      3. Tissue types
      4. “Did you know?” Fun Fact
    2. Locating the structure in medical images
      1. Finding the axial slice range (superior and inferior limits)
      2. Contouring on axial images
    3. Special considerations for radiation therapy
      1. Radiosensitivity
      2. Notable Protocols
  2. Interactive contouring and measurement vs. expert’s Contours
    1. Using the provided image set, the user will contour the structure on axial slices.
    2. The user will then generate a score where the 3D volume they create is compared and scored vs. expert’s contours using a published comparison method.
  3. Video walkthrough where the expert describes how to optimize window/level, find superior and inferior slices, and contour all slices in the range.

Interactive contouring (re-do and practice) where the user can edit, or create from scratch, their set of contours and score vs. the expert’s contours as frequently as desired.

Activity Instructions:

In order to complete this event and earn your CE credit you must click on the required ProKnow Contouring link that is in your Library. This will take you to ProKnow's Contouring Accuracy Program (CAP) main page. From there, you will see a list of structures that ProKnow has to offer. Click the "Right Parotid" item. If you are already a Contouring Accuracy Program Subscriber, and have access to the structure (you will know this because it will say "Launch Now" next to the "Right Parotid (2016-10)" then you can go ahead and jump right in! If you are presented with a purchase dialog, follow the instructions to select your desired purchasing option and enter your payment information. Once you have completed the checkout form, click on "Order Now" to gain access to the Right Parotid.

The Background tab provides information about the structure that you can use before you begin contouring. After you have reviewed this material you can move on to the Contour and Score tab.

The Contour and Score tab is where you will be performing your contouring. You can either use ProKnow's built in contouring tool or download the CT images and upload a Structure Set created in your contouring tool of choice. Once you have finished contouring (or uploaded a valid Structure Set), click on Generate Score to submit your results. In realtime, your score will be computed, and after you have reviewed your results, you can view the learning material and training videos on the Learn tab.

The Learn tab contains education specific to this patient dataset and the structure. Look over any documents and videos.

The AAMD Library will host your final test. Once you feel that you have absorbed the knowledge and achieved a score of 75 or higher, come back to this AAMD page and click on Take Test to enter your score and complete the questions.

Please note that if you don't obtain a passing score on your first attempt, you may go to the "Redo and Practice" tab to try again, you may use up to 3 attempts to obtain a passing score.