Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Brachytherapy. 2016 Jan-Feb;15(1):35-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2015.10.005. Epub 2015 Nov 21.

Rectal contrast increases rectal dose during vaginal cuff brachytherapy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete (CHUA), Albacete, Spain. Electronic address:
  • 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete (CHUA), Albacete, Spain.
  • 3Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Son Espases, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
  • 4Gynecological Cancer Unit, Radiation Oncology Department, ICMHO, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 5Unidad de Medicina Molecular, Centro Regional de Investigaciones Biom√©dicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain; Unidad asociada de Biomedicina, UCLM-CSIC, Albacete, Spain.
  • 6Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Universitari Sant Joan, Reus, Spain.



To evaluate the impact of rectal dose on rectal contrast use during vaginal cuff brachytherapy (VCB).


A retrospective review of gynecology patients who received some brachytherapy fractions with and without rectal contrast was carried out. Rectal contrast was instilled at the clinician's discretion to increase rectal visibility. Thirty-six pairs of CT scans in preparation for brachytherapy were analyzed. Pairs of CTs were segmented and planned using the same parameters. The rectum was always defined from 1 cm above the cylinder tip up to 1.5 cm below the last activated dwell source position. An individual plan was computed at every VCB fraction. A set of values (Dmax, D(0.1cc), D(1cc), and D(2cc)) derived from dose-volume histograms were extracted and compared according to the rectal status.


Rectal volume was 26.7% larger in the fractions with rectal contrast. Such an increase in volume represented a significant increase from 7.7% to 10.4% in all parameters analyzed except Dmax dose-volume histogram.


Avoiding rectal contrast is a simple way of decreasing the rectal dose parameters of VCB, which would mean a better therapeutic ratio. Results also suggest that action directed at maintaining the rectum empty might have the same effect.


Dose-volume histogram; Endometrial cancer; Rectal contrast; Vaginal cuff brachytherapy

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center