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Quantitative Dosimetry Assessment of the Impact of Image Artifacts of Metal Implants in Spinal SABR Treatment

T Chen

T Chen*, M Zhang , S Hanft , R Green , N Yue , S Goyal , Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ


SU-E-J-84 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Metal rods are frequently used to stabilize the spine in patients with metastatic disease. The high Z material causes imaging artifacts in the surrounding tissue in CT scans, which introduces dosimetric uncertainty when inhomogeneity correction is enabled for radiation treatment planning. The purpose of this study is to quantify the dosimetric deviations caused by the imaging artifacts and to evaluate the effectiveness of using Hounsfield units (HU) overwriting to reduce dosimetric uncertainties.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed treatment plans for 4 patients with metal implants who received stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) for metastatic disease to the spine on Tomotherapy HiArt. For all four patients, the region of imaging artifact surrounding the metal implants was contoured and the pixel HU’s were overwritten to be water equivalent. We then generated adaptive treatment plans for these patients using the MVCT pretreatment set up images and batched beamlets in the original treatment plans. The dosimetry deviation between the adaptive and original plans were compared and quantitatively analyzed.

Results: For three out of four patient, the major OAR (spinal cord) dose (0.35cc or 10% according to protocols and fractionation) increased (2.7%, 5.5%, 0%, 3.9%, mean=3.0±2.3%, p=0.04), and the PTV dose (D90 or D95 as per prescription) increased for all four patients ( 2%, 5%, 0.7%, 3.6%, mean=2.8±1.9%, p=0.03) in the adaptive plan with HU overwriting. The average point dose deviation of the Tomotherapy DQA for the same patients was -1.0±1.0%. For plans without HU overwriting, the dose deviation from the treatment plan will increase.

Conclusion: The metal implant and the imaging artifacts may cause a significant dosimetric impact on radiation treatment plans for spinal disease. The dose to the PTV and the spinal cord was under-calculated in treatment plans without considering the imaging artifacts. HU overwriting can reduce the dosimetry un-certainty.

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