SU-E-J-227: Breathing Pattern Consistency and Reproducibility: Comparative Analysis for Supine and Prone Body Positioning




Evaluate and compare the cycle-to-cycle consistency of breathing patterns and their reproducibility over the course of treatment, for supine and prone positioning.


Respiratory traces from 25 patients were recorded for sequential supine/prone 4DCT scans acquired prior to treatment, and during the course of the treatment (weekly or bi-weekly). For each breathing cycle, the average(AVE), end-of-exhale(EoE) and end-of-inhale(EoI) locations were identified using in-house developed software. In addition, the mean values and variations for the above quantities were computed for each breathing trace. F-tests were used to compare the cycle-to-cycle consistency of all pairs of sequential supine and prone scans. Analysis of variances was also performed using population means for AVE, EoE and EoI to quantify differences between the reproducibility of prone and supine respiration traces over the treatment course.


Consistency: Cycle-to-cycle variations are less in prone than supine in the pre-treatment and during-treatment scans for AVE, EoE and EoI points, for the majority of patients (differences significant at p<0.05). The few cases where the respiratory pattern had more variability in prone appeared to be random events. Reproducibility: The reproducibility of breathing patterns (supine and prone) improved as treatment progressed, perhaps due to patients becoming more comfortable with the procedure. However, variability in supine position continued to remain significantly larger than in prone (p<0.05), as indicated by the variance analysis of population means for the pretreatment and subsequent during-treatment scans.


Prone positioning stabilizes breathing patterns in most subjects investigated in this study. Importantly, a parallel analysis of the same group of patients revealed a tendency towards increasing motion amplitude of tumor targets in prone position regardless of their size or location; thus, the choice for body positioning during radiation therapy will have to consider the clinical relevance of the two opposing trends – breathing consistency and motion amplitude.