Background and Purpose: To compare helical, MIP and AI 4D CT imaging, for the purpose of determining the best CT-based volume definition method for encompassing the mobile gross tumor volume (mGTV) within the planning target volume (PTV) for stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in stage I lung cancer. Materials and methods: Twenty patients with medically inoperable peripheral stage I lung cancer were planned for SBRT. Free-breathing helical and 4D image datasets were obtained for each patient. Two composite images, the MIP and AI, were automatically generated from the 4D image datasets. The mGTV contours were delineated for the MIP, AI and helical image datasets for each patient. The volume for each was calculated and compared using analysis of variance and the Wilcoxon rank test. A spatial analysis for comparing center of mass (COM) (i.e. isocenter) coordinates for each imaging method was also performed using multivariate analysis of variance. Results: The MIP-defined mGTVs were significantly larger than both the helical- (p = 0.001) and AI-defined mGTVs (p = 0.012). A comparison of COM coordinates demonstrated no significant spatial difference in the x-, y-, and z-coordinates for each tumor as determined by helical, MIP, or AI imaging methods. Conclusions: In order to incorporate the extent of tumor motion from breathing during SBRT, MIP is superior to either helical or AI images for defining the mGTV. The spatial isocenter coordinates for each tumor were not altered significantly by the imaging methods.
- 4D CT imaging
- Lung cancer
- Maximum intensity projection
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy