MO-F-CAMPUS-T-05: Correct Or Not to Correct for Rotational Patient Set-Up Errors in Stereotactic Radiosurgery




To quantify the effect of patient rotation in stereotactic radiation therapy and establish a threshold where rotational patient set-up errors have a significant impact on target coverage.


To simulate rotational patient set-up errors, a Matlab code was created to rotate the patient dose distribution around the treatment isocentre, located centrally in the lesion, while keeping the structure contours in the original locations on the CT and MRI. Rotations of 1°, 3°, and 5° for each of the pitch, roll, and yaw, as well as simultaneous rotations of 1°, 3°, and 5° around all three axes were applied to two types of brain lesions: brain metastasis and acoustic neuroma. In order to analyze multiple tumour shapes, these plans included small spherical (metastasis), elliptical (acoustic neuroma), and large irregular (metastasis) tumour structures. Dose-volume histograms and planning target volumes were compared between the planned patient positions and those with simulated rotational set-up errors. The RTOG conformity index for patient rotation was also investigated.


Examining the tumour volumes that received 80% of the prescription dose in the planned and rotated patient positions showed decreases in prescription dose coverage of up to 2.3%. Conformity indices for treatments with simulated rotational errors showed decreases of up to 3% compared to the original plan. For irregular lesions, degradation of 1% of the target coverage can be seen for rotations as low as 3°.


This data shows that for elliptical or spherical targets, rotational patient set-up errors less than 3° around any or all axes do not have a significant impact on the dose delivered to the target volume or the conformity index of the plan. However the same rotational errors would have an impact on plans for irregular tumours.