Evaluating differences in respiratory motion estimates during radiotherapy: a single planning 4DMRI versus daily 4DMRI

Duncan den Boer, Johannes K Veldman, Geertjan van Tienhoven, Arjan Bel, Zdenko van Kesteren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: In radiotherapy, respiratory-induced tumor motion is typically measured using a single four-dimensional computed tomography acquisition (4DCT). Irregular breathing leads to inaccurate motion estimates, potentially resulting in undertreatment of the tumor and unnecessary dose to healthy tissue. The aim of the research was to determine if a daily pre-treatment 4DMRI-strategy led to a significantly improved motion estimate compared to single planning 4DMRI (with or without outlier rejection).

METHODS: 4DMRI data sets from 10 healthy volunteers were acquired. The first acquisition simulated a planning MRI, the respiratory motion estimate (constructed from the respiratory signal, i.e. the 1D navigator) was compared to the respiratory signal in the subsequent scans (simulating 5-29 treatment fractions). The same procedure was performed using the first acquisition of each day as an estimate for the subsequent acquisitions that day (2 per day, 4-20 per volunteer), simulating a daily MRI strategy. This was done for three outlier strategies: no outlier rejection (NoOR); excluding 5% of the respiratory signal whilst minimizing the range (Min95) and excluding the datapoints outside the mean end-inhalation and end-exhalation positions (MeanIE).

RESULTS: The planning MRI median motion estimates were 27 mm for NoOR, 18 mm for Min95, and 13 mm for MeanIE. The daily MRI median motion estimates were 29 mm for NoOR, 19 mm for Min95 and 15 mm for MeanIE. The percentage of time outside the motion estimate were for the planning MRI: 2%, 10% and 32% for NoOR, Min95 and MeanIE respectively. These values were reduced with the daily MRI strategy: 0%, 6% and 17%. Applying Min95 accounted for a 30% decrease in motion estimate compared to NoOR.

CONCLUSION: A daily MRI improved the estimation of respiratory motion as compared to a single 4D (planning) MRI significantly. Combining the Min95 technique with a daily 4DMRI resulted in a decrease of inclusion time of 6% with a 30% decrease of motion. Outlier rejection alone on a planning MRI often led to underestimation of the movement and could potentially lead to an underdosage.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: protocol W15_373#16.007.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Pages (from-to)188
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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