The effect of imaging modality (magnetic resonance imaging vs. computed tomography) and patient position (supine vs. prone) on target and organ at risk doses in partial breast irradiation

Publication Name

Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences


Introduction: Conventionally computed tomography (CT) has been used to delineate target volumes in radiotherapy; however, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is being continually integrated into clinical practice; therefore, the investigation into targets derived from MRI is warranted. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of imaging modality (MRI vs. CT) and patient positioning (supine vs. prone) on planning target volumes (PTVs) and organs at risk (OARs) for partial breast irradiation (PBI). Methods: A retrospective data set, of 35 patients, was accessed where each patient had undergone MRI and CT imaging for tangential whole breast radiotherapy in both the supine and prone position. PTVs were defined from seroma cavity (SC) volumes delineated on each respective image, resulting in 4 PTVs per patient. PBI plans were generated with 6MV external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) using the TROG 06.02 protocol guidelines. A prescription of 38.5Gy in 10 fractions was used for all cases. The impact analysis of imaging modality and patient positioning included dose to PTVs, and OARs based on agreed criteria. Statistical analysis was conducted though Mann–Whitey U, Fisher’s exact and chi-squared testing (P < 0.005). Results: Twenty-four patients were eligible for imaging analysis. However, positioning analysis could only be investigated on 19 of these data sets. No statistically significant difference was found in OAR doses based on imaging modality. Supine patient position resulted in lower contralateral breast dose (0.10Gy ± 0.35 vs. 0.33Gy ± 0.78, p = 0.011). Prone positioning resulted in a lower dose to ipsilateral lung volumes (10.85Gy ± 11.37 vs. 3.41Gy ± 3.93, P = <0.001). Conclusions: PBI plans with PTVs derived from MRI exhibited no clinically significant differences when compared to plans created from CT in relation to plan compliance and OAR dose. Patient position requires careful consideration regardless of imaging modality chosen. Although there was no proven superiority of MRI derived target volumes, it indicates that MRI could be considered for PBI target delineation.

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Funding Sponsor

Western Sydney Local Health District



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