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J Radiat Res. 2013 Sep;54(5):950-6. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrt017. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Geometrical differences in gross target volumes between 3DCT and 4DCT imaging in radiotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Jinan 250117, China.


The aim of this study was to explore the characteristic of 3DCT scanning phases and estimate the comparative amount of respiration motion information included in 3DCT and 4DCT by comparing the volumetric and positional difference between the volumes from 3DCT and 4DCT for the radiotherapy of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A total of 28 patients with NSCLC sequentially underwent 3DCT and 4DCT simulation scans of the thorax during free breathing. The 4DCT images with respiratory signal data were reconstructed and sorted into 10 phases throughout a respiratory cycle. GTV-3D from 3DCT, GTV-0%, GTV-20%, GTV-50% and GTV-70% from end-inspiration, mid-expiration, end-expiration and mid-inspiration of 4DCT, and the internal GTV (IGTV-10) from the fused phase of 4DCT were delineated based on the 50% phase image, respectively. The differences in the position, size, matching index (MI) and degree of inclusion (DI) for different volumes were evaluated. The variation in the centroid shifts of GTV-0% and GTV-3D, GTV-20% and GTV-3D, GTV-50% and GTV-3D, and GTV-90% and GTV-3D in the 3D direction was not significant (P = 0.990). The size ratios of GTV-0%, GTV-20%, GTV-50%, GTV-70% and IGTV-10 to GTV-3D were 0.94 ± 0.18, 0.95 ± 0.18, 0.98 ± 0.15, 1.00 ± 0.18 and 1.60 ± 0.55, respectively. DIs of GTV-3D in IGTV-10, and IGTV-10 in GTV-3D were 0.88 ± 0.14 and 0.59 ± 0.16 (P < 0.001). The 3DCT scanning phases are irregular. The CTV-to-ITV expansion should be isotropic when defining the ITV on the 3DCT. The internal GTV derived from 4DCT cannot completely include the GTV from 3DCT. An additional margin may be required when defining the ITV-based 4DCT.


3DCT; 4DCT; gross tumor volume; non-small-cell lung cancer; volume comparison

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