Clinical implications of incorporating heterogeneity corrections in mantle field irradiation

Steven M. Kirsner, Rajat J. Kudchadker, Karl L. Prado, Chul S. Ha, Richard B. Wilder, James D. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Patient dose calculations for mantle-field irradiation have traditionally been performed using homogeneous, water phantom data. The advent of computed tomography (CT)-based treatment planning now permits dose calculations to be corrected for actual patient density. Incorporation of full heterogeneity corrections is desirable, because calculations performed in this fashion more closely represent the actual dose delivered to the patient. In preparation for full clinical implementation of heterogeneity corrections in mantle irradiation, an evaluation of possible changes in dosimetry when transitioning from treatment plans generated without heterogeneity corrections to treatment plans that incorporated full heterogeneity corrections is presented. Methods and Materials: A retrospective analysis was performed of treatment plans with and without heterogeneity corrections for 15 consecutive patients who had undergone full mantle-field irradiation. Comparisons were made of the absolute delivered doses (in cGy per monitor unit) and the absolute volume (in cubic centimeters) enclosed by the isodose surface of the 30.6 Gy prescription line and the surface representing 90% of the prescribed dose. Dose-volume histograms (DVHs) were generated and studied to evaluate differences in the doses received by the lungs, heart, and spinal cord between corrected and uncorrected plans. Comparisons were made of the volumes of lung receiving at least 20 Gy, the volumes of heart receiving at least 25.2 Gy, and the maximum cord dose. Results: Dosimetric differences between heterogeneity-corrected and heterogeneity-uncorrected calculations were small. The mean total ratio of corrected-to-uncorrected dose per monitor unit was 1.01, with a standard deviation (SD) of 0.02. The mean corrected-to-uncorrected treated volume ratio (30.6 Gy) was 0.97, SD 0.14, and the mean corrected-to-uncorrected volume ratio of the 90% isodose surface was 0.99, SD 0.02. The ratio of the volume of lung receiving at least 20 Gy was 1.03, SD 0.02; the ratio of the volume of heart receiving at least 25.2 Gy was 1.01, SD 0.03; and the maximum spinal cord dose ratio was 1.02, SD 0.02. Conclusions: In all patient treatment plans evaluated, no significant dosimetric differences were observed between heterogeneity-corrected and heterogeneity-uncorrected treatment plans. However, unpredictable differences in the prescription isodose (30.6 Gy) were observed. The differences in coverage at the 90% isodose volume were negligible. The dose administered to lung in heterogeneity-corrected plans demonstrates a higher dose overall, with the greatest increase occurring at volumes receiving at least 20 Gy. In light of these small dosimetric differences, we believe that heterogeneity corrections can be incorporated into full mantle-field treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1142
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2003


  • Heterogeneity corrections
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Mantle irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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