Multi-Scale Tokens-Aware Transformer Network for Multi-Region and Multi-Sequence MR-to-CT Synthesis in a Single Model

Liming Zhong, Zeli Chen, Hai Shu, Kaiyi Zheng, Yin Li, Weicui Chen, Yuankui Wu, Jianhua Ma, Qianjin Feng, Wei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The superiority of magnetic resonance (MR)-only radiotherapy treatment planning (RTP) has been well demonstrated, benefiting from the synthesis of computed tomography (CT) images which supplements electron density and eliminates the errors of multi-modal images registration. An increasing number of methods has been proposed for MR-to-CT synthesis. However, synthesizing CT images of different anatomical regions from MR images with different sequences using a single model is challenging due to the large differences between these regions and the limitations of convolutional neural networks in capturing global context information. In this paper, we propose a multi-scale tokens-aware Transformer network (MTT-Net) for multi-region and multi-sequence MR-to-CT synthesis in a single model. Specifically, we develop a multi-scale image tokens Transformer to capture multi-scale global spatial information between different anatomical structures in different regions. Besides, to address the limited attention areas of tokens in Transformer, we introduce a multi-shape window self-attention into Transformer to enlarge the receptive fields for learning the multi-directional spatial representations. Moreover, we adopt a domain classifier in generator to introduce the domain knowledge for distinguishing the MR images of different regions and sequences. The proposed MTT-Net is evaluated on a multi-center dataset and an unseen region, and remarkable performance was achieved with MAE of 69.33 ± 10.39 HU, SSIM of 0.778 ± 0.028, and PSNR of 29.04 ± 1.32 dB in head & neck region, and MAE of 62.80 ± 7.65 HU, SSIM of 0.617 ± 0.058 and PSNR of 25.94 ± 1.02 dB in abdomen region. The proposed MTT-Net outperforms state-of-the-art methods in both accuracy and visual quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-806
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024


  • deep learning
  • MR-to-CT synthesis
  • multi-center analysis
  • transformer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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