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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1998 Jul 15;41(5):997-1003.

Computed tomographic simulation of craniospinal fields in pediatric patients: improved treatment accuracy and patient comfort.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Physics, Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Center, and the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To reduce the time required for planning and simulating craniospinal fields through the use of a computed tomography (CT) simulator and virtual simulation, and to improve the accuracy of field and shielding placement.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

A CT simulation planning technique was developed. Localization of critical anatomic features such as the eyes, cribriform plate region, and caudal extent of the thecal sac are enhanced by this technique. Over a 2-month period, nine consecutive pediatric patients were simulated and planned for craniospinal irradiation. Four patients underwent both conventional simulation and CT simulation. Five were planned using CT simulation only. The accuracy of CT simulation was assessed by comparing digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) to portal films for all patients and to conventional simulation films as well in the first four patients.

RESULTS:

Time spent by patients in the CT simulation suite was 20 min on average and 40 min maximally for those who were noncompliant. Image acquisition time was <10 min in all cases. In the absence of the patient, virtual simulation of all fields took 20 min. The DRRs were in agreement with portal and/or simulation films to within 5 mm in five of the eight cases. Discrepancies of > or =5 mm in the positioning of the inferior border of the cranial fields in the first three patients were due to a systematic error in CT scan acquisition and marker contouring which was corrected by modifying the technique after the fourth patient. In one patient, the facial shield had to be moved 0.75 cm inferiorly owing to an error in shield construction.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our analysis showed that CT simulation of craniospinal fields was accurate. It resulted in a significant reduction in the time the patient must be immobilized during the planning process. This technique can improve accuracy in field placement and shielding by using three-dimensional CT-aided localization of critical and target structures. Overall, it has improved staff efficiency and resource utilization.

PMID:
9719108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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