Purpose: To investigate the variation in computed dose-volume (DV) indices for high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy that can result from typical differences in computation settings in treatment planning systems (TPSs). Methods: Five factors were taken into account: number of dose-calculation points, radioactive source description, interpolation between delineated contours, intersections between delineated organ contours, and organ shape at the top and bottom contour using either full or partial slice thickness. Using in-house developed software, the DV indices of the treatment plans of 26 patients were calculated with different settings, and compared to a baseline setting that closely followed the default settings of the TPS used in our medical center. Studied organs were prostate and seminal vesicles, denoted as targets, and bladder, rectum, and urethra, denoted as organs at risk (OARs), which were delineated on MRI scans with a 3.3 mm slice thickness. Results: When sampling a fixed number of points in each organ, in order to achieve a width of the 95% confidence interval over all patients of the DV indices of 1% or less, only 32,000 points had to be sampled per target, but 256,000 points had to be sampled per OAR. For the remaining factors, DV indices changed up to 0.4% for rectum, 1.3% for urethra, and 2.6% for prostate. DV indices of the bladder changed especially if the high-dose-region was (partly) located at the most caudal contour, up to 8.5%, and DV indices of the vesicles changed especially if there were few delineated contours, up to 9.8%, both due to the use of full slice thickness for the top and bottom contour. Conclusions: The values of DV indices used in prostate HDR brachytherapy treatment planning are influenced by the computation settings in a TPS, especially at the most caudal part of the bladder, as well as in the seminal vesicles.
van der Meer, M. C., Bosman, P. A. N., Pieters, B. R., Niatsetski, Y., van Wieringen, N., Alderliesten, T., & Bel, A. (2019). Sensitivity of dose-volume indices to computation settings in high-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy treatment plan evaluation. Journal of applied clinical medical physics, 20(4), 66-74. https://doi.org/10.1002/acm2.12563