SU-D-BRF-05: A Novel System to Provide Real-Time Image-Guidance for Intrauterine Tandem Insertion and Placement




To develop a system that provides real-time image-guidance for intrauterine tandem insertion and placement for brachytherapy.


The conceptualized system consists of an intrauterine tandem with a transparent, lensed tip, a flexible miniature fiber optic scope, light source and interface for CCD coupling. The tandem tip was designed to act as a lens providing a wide field-of-view (FOV) with minimal image distortion and focus length appropriate for the application. The system is designed so that once inserted, the image-guidance component of the system can be removed and brachytherapy can be administered without interfering with source transport or disturbing tandem placement. Proof-of-principle studies were conducted to assess the conceptualized system's (1) lens functionality (clarity, focus and FOV) (2) and ability to visualize the cervical os of a female placed in the lithotomy position.


A prototype of this device was constructed using a commercial tandem modified to incorporate a transparent tip that internally coupled with a 1.9mm diameter fiber optic cable. The 900mm-long cable terminated at an interface that provided illumination as well as facilitated visualization of patient anatomy on a computer. The system provided a 23mm FOV with a focal length of 1cm and provided clear visualization of the cervix, cervical fornix and cervical os. The optical components of the system are easily removed without perturbing the position of a tandem placed in a common fixation clamp.


Clinicians frequently encounter difficulty inserting an intrauterine tandem through the cervical os, circumventing fibrotic tissue or masses within the uterus, and positioning the tandem without perforating the uterus. To mitigate these challenges, we have designed and conducted proof-of- principle studies to discern the utility of a prototype device that provides real-time image-guidance for intrauterine tandem placement using fiber optic components.