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Variations Between Dose-Ventilation and Dose-Perfusion Metrics in Radiation Therapy Planning for Lung Cancer.



Currently, several active clinical trials of functional lung avoidance radiation therapy using different imaging modalities for ventilation or perfusion are underway. Patients with lung cancer often show ventilation-perfusion mismatch, whereas the significance of dose-function metric remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to compare dose-ventilation metrics with dose-perfusion metrics for radiation therapy plan evaluation.

Methods and materials

Pretreatment 4-dimensional computed tomography and 99mTc-macroaggregated albumin single-photon emission computed tomography perfusion images of 60 patients with lung cancer treated with radiation therapy were analyzed. Ventilation images were created using the deformable image registration of 4-dimensional computed tomography image sets and image analysis for regional volume changes as a surrogate for ventilation. Ventilation and perfusion images were converted into percentile distribution images. Analyses included Pearson's correlation coefficient and comparison of agreements between the following dose-ventilation and dose-perfusion metrics: functional mean lung dose and functional percent lung function receiving 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 Gy (fV5, fV10, fV20, fV30, and fV40, respectively).


Overall, the dose-ventilation metrics were greater than the dose-perfusion metrics (ie, fV20, 26.3% ± 9.9% vs 23.9% ± 9.8%). Correlations between the dose-ventilation and dose-perfusion metrics were strong (range, r = 0.94-0.97), whereas the agreements widely varied among patients, with differences as large as 6.6 Gy for functional mean lung dose and 11.1% for fV20. Paired t test indicated that the dose-ventilation and dose-perfusion metrics were significantly different.


Strong correlations were present between the dose-ventilation and dose-perfusion metrics. However, the agreement between the dose-ventilation and dose-perfusion metrics widely varied among patients, suggesting that ventilation-based radiation therapy plan evaluation may not be comparable to that based on perfusion. Future studies should elucidate the correlation of dose-function metrics with clinical pulmonary toxicity metrics.

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