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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 Nov 1;60(3):933-41.

Measurement of lung tumor motion using respiration-correlated CT.

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Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.



We investigate the characteristics of lung tumor motion measured with respiration-correlated computed tomography (RCCT) and examine the method's applicability to radiotherapy planning and treatment.


Six patients treated for non-small-cell lung carcinoma received a helical single-slice computed tomography (CT) scan with a slow couch movement (1 mm/s), while simultaneously respiration is recorded with an external position-sensitive monitor. Another 6 patients receive a 4-slice CT scan in a cine mode, in which sequential images are acquired for a complete respiratory cycle at each couch position while respiration is recorded. The images are retrospectively resorted into different respiration phases as measured with the external monitor (4-slice data) or patient surface displacement observed in the images (single-slice data). The gross tumor volume (GTV) in lung is delineated at one phase and serves as a visual guide for delineation at other phases. Interfractional GTV variation is estimated by scaling diaphragm position variations measured in gated radiographs at treatment with the ratio of GTV:diaphragm displacement observed in the RCCT data.


Seven out of 12 patients show GTV displacement with respiration of more than 1 cm, primarily in the superior-inferior (SI) direction; 2 patients show anterior-posterior displacement of more than 1 cm. In all cases, extremes in GTV position in the SI direction are consistent with externally measured extremes in respiration. Three patients show evidence of hysteresis in GTV motion, in which the tumor trajectory is displaced 0.2 to 0.5 cm anteriorly during expiration relative to inspiration. Significant (>1 cm) expansion of the GTV in the SI direction with respiration is observed in 1 patient. Estimated intrafractional GTV motion for gated treatment at end expiration is 0.6 cm or less in all cases; however; interfraction variation estimates (systematic plus random) are more than 1 cm in 3/9 patients.


Respiration-correlated CT can be performed with currently available CT equipment and acquisition settings. RCCT provides not only three-dimensional information on intrafractional tumor motion and deformation, but also allows estimates of interfractional tumor variation when combined with radiographic measurements of diaphragm position variation during treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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