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Radiologe. 2002 May;42(5):388-91.

[The value of magnetic resonance tomography (MRI) with reference to economic aspects of radiotherapy planning of vertebral metastases. A cost benefit analysis].

[Article in German]

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Strahlentherapie Wiesbaden, St.-Josefs-Hospital, Solmstrasse 15, 65189 Wiesbaden.


Is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based target volume definition for treatment planning of vertebral metastasis effective under economic considerations. From 1994 to 1999, a total of 137 patients with bone metastases affecting the vertebral column underwent MRI of the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine for the treatment planning of palliative radiation therapy. The following radiation treatment consisted in a irradiation of the affected vertebral region up to a total dose of 30-40 Gy. The cost calculation for radiotherapy and magnetic resonance tomography was done using the common tariff model (EBM) of the German Health Insurances. In 73% of patients (101 patients), magnetic resonance imaging resulted in marked corrections of the irradiation fields which would have resulted in the necessity of treatment for recurrence in the case of treatment planning without MRI. Consequently, the higher cost of MRI of 345.00 DEM (176,40 EUR) lead to a saving of 497.00 DEM (254,11 EUR) compared to a recurrence treatment of 10 fractions and of 1,428.00 DEM (730,12 EUR) compared to 20 fractions. The transport expenses for the second treatment could be saved as well. Even under economic considerations MRI is effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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