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The clinical significance and management of lesion motion due to respiration during PET/CT scanning

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      Abstract

      Lesion movement during positron emission tomography (PET) scan acquisition due to normal respiration is a common source of artefact. A PET scan is acquired in multiple couch positions of between 2 and 5 min duration with the patient breathing freely. A PET-avid lesion will become blurred if affected by respiratory motion, an effect similar to that created when a person moves in a photograph. This motion also frequently causes misregistration between the PET and computed tomography (CT) scan acquired for attenuation correction and anatomical correlation on hybrid scanners. The compounding effects of blurring and misregistration in whole-body PET/CT imaging make accurate characterization of PET-avid disease in areas of high respiratory motion challenging. There is also increasing interest in using PET quantitatively to assess disease response in both clinical reporting and trials. However, at this stage, no response criteria take the effect of respiratory motion into account when calculating the standardized uptake value on a PET scan. A number of different approaches have been described in the literature to address the issue of respiratory motion in PET/CT scanning. This review details the clinical significance of lesion movement due to respiration and discusses various imaging techniques that have been investigated to manage the effects of respiratory motion in PET/CT scanning.

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      Most cited references 33

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        Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a significant advance in cancer imaging with great potential for optimizing radiation therapy (RT) treatment planning and thereby improving outcomes for patients. The use of PET and PET/CT in RT planning was reviewed by an international panel. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organized two synchronized and overlapping consultants' meetings with experts from different regions of the world in Vienna in July 2006. Nine experts and three IAEA staff evaluated the available data on the use of PET in RT planning, and considered practical methods for integrating it into routine practice. For RT planning, (18)F fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) was the most valuable pharmaceutical. Numerous studies supported the routine use of FDG-PET for RT target volume determination in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). There was also evidence for utility of PET in head and neck cancers, lymphoma and in esophageal cancers, with promising preliminary data in many other cancers. The best available approach employs integrated PET/CT images, acquired on a dual scanner in the radiotherapy treatment position after administration of tracer according to a standardized protocol, with careful optimization of images within the RT planning system and carefully considered rules for contouring tumor volumes. PET scans that are not recent or were acquired without proper patient positioning should be repeated for RT planning. PET will play an increasing valuable role in RT planning for a wide range of cancers. When requesting PET scans, physicians should be aware of their potential role in RT planning.
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          Deep inspiration breath-hold technique for lung tumors: the potential value of target immobilization and reduced lung density in dose escalation.

          This study evaluates the dosimetric benefits and feasibility of a deep inspiration breath-hold (DIBH) technique in the treatment of lung tumors. The technique has two distinct features--deep inspiration, which reduces lung density, and breath-hold, which immobilizes lung tumors, thereby allowing for reduced margins. Both of these properties can potentially reduce the amount of normal lung tissue in the high-dose region, thus reducing morbidity and improving the possibility of dose escalation. Five patients treated for non-small cell lung carcinoma (Stage IIA-IIIB) received computed tomography (CT) scans under 4 respiration conditions: free-breathing, DIBH, shallow inspiration breath-hold, and shallow expiration breath-hold. The free-breathing and DIBH scans were used to generate 3-dimensional conformal treatment plans for comparison, while the shallow inspiration and expiration scans determined the extent of tumor motion under free-breathing conditions. To acquire the breath-hold scans, the patients are brought to reproducible respiration levels using spirometry, and for DIBH, modified slow vital capacity maneuvers. Planning target volumes (PTVs) for free-breathing plans included a margin for setup error (0.75 cm) plus a margin equal to the extent of tumor motion due to respiration (1-2 cm). Planning target volumes for DIBH plans included the same margin for setup error, with a reduced margin for residual uncertainty in tumor position (0.2-0.5 cm) as determined from repeat fluoroscopic movies. To simulate the effects of respiration-gated treatments and estimate the role of target immobilization alone (i.e., without the benefit of reduced lung density), a third plan is generated from the free-breathing scan using a PTV with the same margins as for DIBH plans. The treatment plan comparison suggests that, on average, the DIBH technique can reduce the volume of lung receiving more than 25 Gy by 30% compared to free-breathing plans, while respiration gating can reduce the volume by 18%. The DIBH maneuver was found to be highly reproducible, with intra breath-hold reproducibility of 1.0 (+/- 0.9) mm and inter breath-hold reproducibility of 2.5 (+/- 1.6) mm, as determined from diaphragm position. Patients were able to perform 10-13 breath-holds in one session, with a comfortable breath-hold duration of 12-16 s. Patients tolerate DIBH maneuvers well and can perform them in a highly reproducible fashion. Compared to conventional free-breathing treatment, the DIBH technique benefits from reduced margins, as a result of the suppressed target motion, as well as a decreased lung density; both contribute to moving normal lung tissue out of the high-dose region. Because less normal lung tissue is irradiated to high dose, the possibility for dose escalation is significantly improved.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            aPeter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Centre for Molecular Imaging, St Andrews Place, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; bDepartment of Physical Sciences, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Andrews Place, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; cDepartment of Medical Imaging and Radiation Science, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; dDepartments of Medicine and Radiology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
            Author notes
            Corresponding address: Jason Callahan, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Centre for Molecular Imaging, St Andrews Place, East Melbourne, Victoria 3002, Australia. Email: jason.callahan@ 123456petermac.org
            Journal
            Cancer Imaging
            CI
            Cancer Imaging
            Cancer Imaging
            e-Med
            1740-5025
            1470-7330
            2011
            28 December 2011
            : 11
            : 1
            : 224-236
            22201582
            3266588
            10.1102/1470-7330.2011.0031
            ci110031
            © 2011 International Cancer Imaging Society
            Categories
            Review

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