Respiratory motion management techniques in radiotherapy (RT) planning are primarily focused on maintaining tumor target coverage. An inadequately addressed need is accounting for motion in dosimetric estimations in smaller serial structures. Accurate dose estimations in such structures are more sensitive to motion because respiration can cause them to move completely in or out of a high dose-gradient field. In this work, we study three motion management strategies (m1-m3) to find an accurate method to estimate the dosimetry in airways. To validate these methods, we generated a 'ground truth' digital breathing model based on a 4DCT scan from a lung stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SAbR) patient. We simulated 225 breathing cycles with ±10% perturbations in amplitude, respiratory period, and time per respiratory phase. A high-resolution breath-hold CT (BHCT) was also acquired and used with a research virtual bronchoscopy software to autosegment 239 airways. Contours for planning target volume (PTV) and organs at risk (OARs) were defined on the maximum intensity projection of the 4DCT (CTMIP) and transferred to the average of the 10 4DCT phases (CTAVG). To design the motion management methods, the RT plan was recreated using different images and structure definitions. Methods m1 and m2 recreated the plan using the CTAVG image. In method m1, airways were deformed to the CTAVG. In m2, airways were deformed to each of the 4DCT phases, and union structures were transferred onto the CTAVG. In m3, the RT plan was recreated on each of the 10 phases, and the dose distribution from each phase was deformed to the BHCT and summed. Dose errors (mean [min, max]) in airways were: m1: 21% (0.001%, 93%); m2: 45% (0.1%, 179%); and m3: 4% (0.006%, 14%). Our work suggests that accurate dose estimation in moving small serial structures requires customized motion management techniques (like m3 in this work) rather than current clinical and investigational approaches.
- Motion management
- dose estimation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging