FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Cheng CW , Das IJ , Stea B
The Effect of the Number of Computed Tomographic Slices on Dose Distributions and Evaluation of Treatment Planning Systems for Radiation-Therapy of Intact Breast
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 1994 Aug 30;30(1) :183-195
PMID: ISI:A1994PH01500023   
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Purpose: This study was undertaken to answer the following questions in breast irradiation: (a) How many calculation planes are sufficient for three-dimensional (3-D) treatment planning? (b) Is pseudo-3-D planning system sufficiently accurate for 3-D treatment planning of a breast? Methods and Materials: We carried out dose calculations and differential dose-volume analysis on three representative patients covering the range of breast size encountered in a clinic. The breast volumes were reconstructed from computed tomography (CT) scans using three slices, five slices and the full CT scan respectively. An established 3-D dose algorithm and two pseudo- 3-D commercial systems were used in the calculations. Comparison of isodose distributions were made between the central axis plane, a cephalic and a caudal plane 6 cm above or below the central axis respectively. Results: When comparing isodose distributions generated with conventional two- dimensional treatment planning with 3-D dose calculations, the former underestimated the size and magnitude of the hot spots in the medial and the lateral subcutaneous (SC) regions. When comparing the three-slice with the full CT model, while the three-slice model was found to be adequate for the ''small'' and the ''medium'' size patients, the full CT model provided a more accurate representation of dose distributions for the ''large'' patient. Comparison of a true 3-D algorithm with pseudo-3-D algorithms showed that while the tatter systems were adequate for the ''small'' and the ''medium'' patients, significant differences were noted between the true 3-D and the pseudo-3-D algorithms for the ''large'' patient. Conclusion: For patients whose breast contours vary slowly within the tangential fields, a three-slice CT scan as well as a pseudo-3- D approach appears to be adequate for clinical decision. However, for patients with large variation of contours within the tangential fields, a full scale CT scan with a true 3-D dose algorithm is more accurate than either the three-slice or the five-slice model.