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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995 Jun 15;32(3):831-7.

Dose-volume histogram analysis of techniques for irradiating pituitary adenomas.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.



Three-dimensional treatment planning was performed to evaluate three standard coplanar irradiation techniques (two-field parallel-opposed, three-field, and 110 degrees bilateral arcs), the 330 degrees single rotational arc, and a four noncoplanar arc technique for the treatment of pituitary adenomas. We sought to identify the optimal technique for minimizing the dose delivered to the normal tissues around the pituitary gland.


Contours of the pituitary tumor and normal tissues were traced onto computed axial tomography (CT) scans and reconstructed in three dimensions using a three-dimensional planning system. A total dose of 45 Gy was delivered to the pituitary lesion with the five techniques using 6 MV and 18 MV photons, and dose-volume histograms were generated.


The 18 MV photons delivered a lower dose to the temporal lobe than did the 6 MV photons in the two-field technique, but this advantage was not evident for the other techniques. The three-field technique improved dose distribution throughout the temporal lobes with low doses being delivered to the frontal lobe. The bilateral arc and the 330 degrees arc techniques were superior to stationary two- and three-fields techniques for sparing the temporal lobes. The four noncoplanar arc technique delivered less doses to the temporal and frontal lobes than did the other techniques. However, the lens dose (3.6 Gy/25 fractions) was higher compared to the other techniques.


Analysis of the dose-volume histograms shows the various dosimetric advantages and disadvantages of the five techniques. Based upon individual considerations, including the patient's age and medical history, one can decide the optimal technique for treatment.

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