In this study, we developed and evaluated a system that could monitor abdominal compression force (ACF) in real time and provide a surrogating signal, even under abdominal compression. The system could also provide visual-biofeedback (VBF). The real-time ACF monitoring system developed consists of an abdominal compression device, an ACF monitoring unit and a control system including an in-house ACF management program. We anticipated that ACF variation information caused by respiratory abdominal motion could be used as a respiratory surrogate signal. Four volunteers participated in this test to obtain correlation coefficients between ACF variation and tidal volumes. A simulation study with another group of six volunteers was performed to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed system. In the simulation, we investigated the reproducibility of the compression setup and proposed a further enhanced shallow breathing (ESB) technique using VBF by intentionally reducing the amplitude of the breathing range under abdominal compression. The correlation coefficient between the ACF variation caused by the respiratory abdominal motion and the tidal volume signal for each volunteer was evaluated and R 2 values ranged from 0.79 to 0.84. The ACF variation was similar to a respiratory pattern and slight variations of ACF ranges were observed among sessions. About 73-77% average ACF control rate (i.e. compliance) over five trials was observed in all volunteer subjects except one (64%) when there was no VBF. The targeted ACF range was intentionally reduced to achieve ESB for VBF simulation. With VBF, in spite of the reduced target range, overall ACF control rate improved by about 20% in all volunteers except one (4%), demonstrating the effectiveness of VBF. The developed monitoring system could help reduce the inter-fraction ACF set up error and the intra fraction ACF variation. With the capability of providing a real time surrogating signal and VBF under compression, it could improve the quality of respiratory tumor motion management in abdominal compression radiation therapy.
- abdominal compression force
- abdominal compression radiation therapy
- gas pressure sensor
- respiratory correlated radiation therapy
- visual bio-feedback