SU-F-P-42: “To Navigate, Or Not to Navigate: HDR BT in Recurrent Spine Lesions”




We compare the accuracy of HDR catheter placement for paraspinal lesions using O-arm CBCT imaging combined with StealthStation navigation and traditional fluoroscopically guided catheter placement.


CT and MRI scans were acquired pre-treatment to outline the lesions and design treatment plans (pre-plans) to meet dosimetric constrains. The pre-planned catheter trajectories were transferred into the StealthStation Navigation system prior to the surgery. The StealthStation is an infra red (IR) optical navigation system used for guidance of surgical instruments. An intraoperative CBCT scan (O-arm) was acquired with reference IR optical fiducials anchored onto the patient and registered with the preplan image study to guide surgical instruments in relation to the patients’ anatomy and to place the brachytherapy catheters along the pre-planned trajectories. The final treatment plan was generated based on a 2nd intraoperative CBCT scan reflecting achieved implant geometry. The 2nd CBCT was later registered with the initial CT scan to compare the preplanned dwell positions with actual dwell positions (catheter placements). Similar workflow was used in placement of 8 catheters (1 patient) without navigation, but under fluoroscopy guidance in an interventional radiology suite.


A total of 18 catheters (3 patients) were placed using navigation assisted surgery. Average displacement of 0.66 cm (STD=0.37cm) was observed between the pre-plan source positions and actual source positions in the 3 dimensional space. This translates into an average 0.38 cm positioning error in one direction including registration errors, digitization errors, and the surgeons ability to follow the planned trajectory. In comparison, average displacement of non-navigated catheters was 0.50 cm (STD=0.22cm).


Spinal lesion HDR brachytherapy planning is a difficult task. Catheter placement has a direct impact on target coverage and dose to critical structures. While limited to a handful of patients, our experience shows navigation and fluoroscopy guided placement yield similar results.