A simplified method of four-dimensional dose accumulation using the mean patient density representation

Carri K. Glide-Hurst, Geoffrey D. Hugo, Jian Liang, Di Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The purpose of this work was to demonstrate, both in phantom and patient, the feasibility of using an average 4DCT image set (AVG-CT) for 4D cumulative dose estimation. A series of 4DCT numerical phantoms and corresponding AVG-CTs were generated. For full 4D dose summation, static dose was calculated on each phase and cumulative dose was determined by combining each phase's static dose distribution with known tumor displacement. The AVG-CT cumulative dose was calculated similarly, although the same AVG-CT static dose distribution was used for all phases (i.e., tumor displacements). Four lung cancer cases were also evaluated for stereotactic body radiotherapy and conformal treatments; however, deformable image registration of the 4DCTs was used to generate the displacement vector fields (DVFs) describing patient-specific motion. Dose discrepancy between full 4D summation and AVG-CT approach was calculated and compared. For all phantoms, AVG-CT approximation yielded slightly higher cumulative doses compared to full 4D summation, with dose discrepancy increasing with increased tumor excursion. In vivo, using the AVG-CT coupled with deformable registration yielded clinically insignificant differences for all GTV parameters including the minimum, mean, maximum, dose to 99% of target, and dose to 1% of target. Furthermore, analysis of the spinal cord, esophagus, and heart revealed negligible differences in major dosimetric indices and dose coverage between the two dose calculation techniques. Simplifying 4D dose accumulation via the AVG-CT, while fully accounting for tumor deformation due to respiratory motion, has been validated, thereby, introducing the potential to streamline the use of 4D dose calculations in clinical practice, particularly for adaptive planning purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5269-5277
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008


  • 4DCT
  • AVG-CT
  • Adaptive radiation therapy
  • Dose accumulation
  • Dose calculation


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