To analyze the respiratory-induced motion of each liver segment using helical computed tomography (helical CT) and 4-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT), and to establish the individual segment expansion margin of internal target volume (ITV) to facilitate target delineation of tumors in different liver segments.
Twenty patients who received radiotherapy with CT-simulation scanning of the whole liver in both helical CT and 10-phase-gated 4DCT were investigated, including 2 patients with esophagus cancer, 4 with lung cancer, 10 with breast cancer, 2 with liver cancer, 1 with thymoma, and 1 with gastric diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). For each patient, 9 representative points were drawn on the helical CT images of liver segments 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 6, 7, and 8, respectively, and adaptively deformed to 2 phases of the 4DCT images at the end of inspiration (phase 0 CT) and expiration (phase 50 CT) in the treatment planning system. Using the amplitude of each point between phase 0 CT and phase 50 CT, we established quantitative data for the respiration-induced motion of each liver segment in 3-dimensional directions. Moreover, using the amplitude between the original helical CT and both 4DCT images, we rendered the individual segment expansion margin of ITV for hepatic target delineation to cover more than 95% of each tumor.
The average amplitude (mean ± standard deviation) was 0.6 ± 3.0 mm in the left-right (LR) direction, 2.3 ± 2.4 mm in the anterior-posterior (AP) direction, and 5.7 ± 3.4 mm in the superior-inferior (SI) direction, respectively. All of the segments moved posteriorly and superiorly during expiration. Segment 7 had the largest amplitude in the SI direction, at 8.6 ± 3.4 mm. Otherwise, the segments over the lateral side, including segments 2, 3, 6, and 7, had greater excursion in the SI direction compared to the medial segments. To cover more than 95% of each tumor, the required expansion margin of ITV in the LR, AP, and SI directions were at least 2.5 mm, 2.5 mm, and 5.0 mm on average, respectively, with variations between different segments.
The greatest excursion occurred in liver segment 7, followed by the segments over the lateral side in the SI direction. The individual segment expansion margin of ITV is required to delineate targets for each segment and direction.