Intra-fraction setup variability: IR optical localization vs. X-ray imaging in a hypofractionated patient population

Maria F. Spadea, Barbara Tagaste, Marco Riboldi, Eleonora Preve, Daniela Alterio, Gaia Piperno, Cristina Garibaldi, Roberto Orecchia, Antonio Pedotti, Guido Baroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of this study is to investigate intra-fraction setup variability in hypo-fractionated cranial and body radiotherapy; this is achieved by means of integrated infrared optical localization and stereoscopic kV X-ray imaging.Method and Materials: We analyzed data coming from 87 patients treated with hypo-fractionated radiotherapy at cranial and extra-cranial sites. Patient setup was realized through the ExacTrac X-ray 6D system (BrainLAB, Germany), consisting of 2 infrared TV cameras for external fiducial localization and X-ray imaging in double projection for image registration. Before irradiation, patients were pre-aligned relying on optical marker localization. Patient position was refined through the automatic matching of X-ray images to digitally reconstructed radiographs, providing 6 corrective parameters that were automatically applied using a robotic couch. Infrared patient localization and X-ray imaging were performed at the end of treatment, thus providing independent measures of intra-fraction motion.Results: According to optical measurements, the size of intra-fraction motion was (median ± quartile) 0.3 ± 0.3 mm, 0.6 ± 0.6 mm, 0.7 ± 0.6 mm for cranial, abdominal and lung patients, respectively. X-ray image registration estimated larger intra-fraction motion, equal to 0.9 ± 0.8 mm, 1.3 ± 1.2 mm, 1.8 ± 2.2 mm, correspondingly.Conclusion: Optical tracking highlighted negligible intra-fraction motion at both cranial and extra-cranial sites. The larger motion detected by X-ray image registration showed significant inter-patient variability, in contrast to infrared optical tracking measurement. Infrared localization is put forward as the optimal strategy to monitor intra-fraction motion, featuring robustness, flexibility and less invasivity with respect to X-ray based techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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