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2021 Apr 21




Intra-Fraction Motion Management for Radiosurgical Treatments of Trigeminal Neuralgia: Clinical Experience, Imaging Frequency, and Motion Analysis.


Purpose The aim of this study is to evaluate the patient positioning and intra-fraction motion management performance of an image-guidance protocol established for radiosurgical treatments of trigeminal neuralgia patients. Specifically, it also aims to analyze patient motion data for the evaluation of current motion tolerance levels and imaging frequency utilized for repositioning patients. Methods A linear accelerator equipped with ExacTrac is used for patient positioning with stereoscopic imaging and treatments. Treatments are delivered with 4-mm conical collimators using seven equally spaced arcs. Arcs are 20 degrees apart and span 100 arc degrees each. Following initial ExacTrac positioning, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is obtained for independent confirmation of patient position. Patients are then stereoscopically imaged prior to the delivery of each arc and repositioned when 0.5-mm translational tolerance in any direction is exceeded. After the patient has been repositioned, verification stereoscopic images are obtained. Data from 48 patients with 607 image pairs were analyzed for this study. Results Over the course of 48 patient treatments, the mean magnitude of mean 3D deviations was 0.64 mm ± 0.12 mm (range: 0.07-2.74 mm). With the current 0.50-mm tolerance level for repositioning, patients exceeded the tolerance 51.4% of the time considering only images following an arc segment. For those instances, patients were repositioned with a mean magnitude of 0.85 mm ± 0.15 mm (1 SD). For a 0.25-mm tolerance level, 86.1% of arc segments would have required repositioning following the delivery of an arc segment, with a mean magnitude of 0.68 mm ± 0.12 mm. Conversely, for 0.75-mm and 1.00-mm tolerance levels, the tolerance would have been exceeded only 21.5% and 6.6% of instances following the delivery of an arc segment, with a mean magnitude of 1.08 mm ± 0.21 mm and 1.34 mm ± 0.24 mm, respectively. Each repositioning adds approximately 2 minutes to treatment time, which accounts for parts of the variability in patient treatment times. Following the initial ExacTrac and CBCT, the mean treatment time from first arc to treatment end was 57 minutes (range: 33-63 minutes). Discussions The current 0.50-mm tolerance level results in a clinically manageable but significant number of patient repositions during trigeminal neuralgia treatments. Frequent patient repositioning can result from actual patient motion convolved with the accuracy and precision limitations of the image analysis. Increasing the repositioning tolerance could more selectively correct for actual patient motion and shorten the treatment time at the expense of more variations in patient position. A more lenient tolerance level of 0.75 mm would decrease the repositioning rate by approximately a factor of 2; however, the permissible magnitude of motion will increase, leading to possible dosimetric consequences. Once treatment begins, there was no trend as to when patients exceeded the tolerance. Conclusions Current imaging protocol for patient positioning and intra-fraction motion management fits the clinical workflow with clinically acceptable residual patient motion. The next important step would be to assess how the number of repositions and magnitude of residual movements affect treatment outcomes.