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Investigation of Distal Lung Atelectasis Following Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Using Regional Lung Volume Changes Between Pre- and Post- Treatment CT Scans

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Q Diot

Q Diot*, B Kavanagh , M Miften , University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO


WE-G-BRD-7 Wednesday 4:30PM - 6:00PM Room: Ballroom D

Purpose: To propose a quantitative method using lung deformations to differentiate between radiation-induced fibrosis and potential airway stenosis with distal atelectasis in patients treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for lung tumors.

Methods: Twenty-four lung patients with large radiation-induced density increases outside the high dose region had their pre- and post-treatment CT scans manually registered. They received SBRT treatments at our institution between 2002 and 2009 in 3 or 5 fractions, to a median total dose of 54Gy (range, 30-60). At least 50 anatomical landmarks inside the lung (airway branches) were paired for the pre- and post-treatment scans to guide the deformable registration of the lung structure, which was then interpolated to the whole lung using splines. Local volume changes between the planning and follow-up scans were calculated using the deformation field Jacobian. Hyperdense regions were classified as atelectatic or fibrotic based on correlations between regional density increases and significant volume contractions compared to the surrounding tissues.

Results: Out of 24 patients, only 7 demonstrated a volume contraction that was at least one σ larger than the remaining lung average. Because they did not receive high doses, these shrunk hyperdense regions were likely showing distal atelectasis resulting from radiation-induced airway stenosis rather than conventional fibrosis. On average, the hyperdense regions extended 9.2 cm farther than the GTV contours but not significantly more than 8.6 cm for the other patients (p>0.05), indicating that a large offset between the radiation and hyperdense region centers is not a good surrogate for atelectasis.

Conclusion: A method based on the relative comparison of volume changes between different dates was developed to identify potential lung regions experiencing distal atelectasis. Such a tool is essential to study which lung structures need to be avoided to prevent atelectasis and limit lung function loss.

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