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Phys Med Biol. 2011 Dec 21;56(24):7829-41. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/56/24/010. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

The effect of temporal HU variations on the uncertainty of dose recalculations performed on MVCT images.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, M D Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Orlando, FL 32806, USA.


Over the course of radiation therapy, a patient's anatomy may change substantially. The relatively recent addition of frequent in-room imaging to assist with patient localization has provided a database of images that may be used to recalculate dose distributions for adaptive radiotherapy purposes. The TomoTherapy Hi-Art II unit (Accuray Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA) uses a helical scanning geometry and a megavoltage (MV) beam to acquire volumetric patient images. This study evaluated the uncertainty of dose calculations performed on megavoltage CT (MVCT) images as a function of temporal Hounsfield Unit (HU) variations observed in the imaging system over three years on two machines. A baseline error between dose calculations performed on kVCT and MVCT images was established using a series of phantoms. This baseline error ranged from -1.4% to 0.6%. Materials of differing densities were imaged and MVCT numbers were measured periodically. The MVCT number of solid water varied from 5 to 103 HU and consistently increased prior to target replacement. Finally, the dosimetric uncertainty of the temporal HU variation was assessed using MVCT images of typical head and neck, lung and prostate cancer patients. Worst-case MVCT recalculation errors could approach 5%, 7% and 10% for the head and neck, lung and prostate images, respectively. However, if a tolerance of ±30 HU were maintained for the MVCT number of solid water, dosimetric errors were limited to ±2.5%, ±3% and ±4%, respectively.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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