Dosimetric Consequences Of Using Contrast-Enhanced Computed Tomographic Images For Intensity-Modulated Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Planning

Yoshikawa H, Roback DM, Larue SM, et al. 

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2015;56:687-695.

Potential benefits of planning radiation therapy on a contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan (ceCT) should be weighed against the possibility that this practice may be associated with an inadvertent risk of overdosing nearby normal tissues. This study investigated the influence of ceCT on intensity-modulated stereotactic body radiotherapy (IM-SBRT) planning. Dogs with head and neck, pelvic, or appendicular tumors were included in this retrospective cross-sectional study. All IM-SBRT plans were constructed on a pre- or ceCT. Contours for tumor and organs at risk (OAR) were manually constructed and copied onto both CT’s; IM-SBRT plans were calculated on each CT in a manner that resulted in equal radiation fluence. The maximum and mean doses for OAR, and minimum, maximum, and mean doses for targets were compared. Data were collected from 40 dogs per anatomic site (head and neck, pelvis, and limbs). The average dose difference between minimum, maximum, and mean doses as calculated on pre- and ceCT plans for the gross tumor volume was less than 1% for all anatomic sites. Similarly, the differences between mean and maximum doses for OAR were less than 1%. The difference in dose distribution between plans made on CTs with and without contrast enhancement was tolerable at all treatment sites. Therefore, although caution would be recommended when planning IM-SBRT for tumors near “reservoirs” for contrast media (such as the heart and urinary bladder), findings supported the use of ceCT with this dose calculation algorithm for both target delineation and IM-SBRT treatment planning.