Send to

Choose Destination
Radiology. 2001 Nov;221(2):333-9.

Definition of the supraclavicular and infraclavicular nodes: implications for three-dimensional CT-based conformal radiation therapy.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan School of Medicine, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



To delineate with computed tomography (CT) the anatomic regions containing the supraclavicular (SCV) and infraclavicular (IFV) nodal groups, to define the course of the brachial plexus, to estimate the actual radiation dose received by these regions in a series of patients treated in the traditional manner, and to compare these doses to those received with an optimized dosimetric technique.


Twenty patients underwent contrast material-enhanced CT for the purpose of radiation therapy planning. CT scans were used to study the location of the SCV and IFV nodal regions by using outlining of readily identifiable anatomic structures that define the nodal groups. The brachial plexus was also outlined by using similar methods. Radiation therapy doses to the SCV and IFV were then estimated by using traditional dose calculations and optimized planning. A repeated measures analysis of covariance was used to compare the SCV and IFV depths and to compare the doses achieved with the traditional and optimized methods.


Coverage by the 90% isodose surface was significantly decreased with traditional planning versus conformal planning as the depth to the SCV nodes increased (P < .001). Significantly decreased coverage by using the 90% isodose surface was demonstrated for traditional planning versus conformal planning with increasing IFV depth (P = .015). A linear correlation was found between brachial plexus depth and SCV depth up to 7 cm.


Conformal optimized planning provided improved dosimetric coverage compared with standard techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center