Three-Dimensional Imaging in Gynecologic Brachytherapy: A Survey of the American Brachytherapy Society

Akila N. Viswanathan, Beth A. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine current practice patterns with regard to three-dimensional (3D) imaging for gynecologic brachytherapy among American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) members. Methods and Materials: Registered physician members of the ABS received a 19-item survey by e-mail in August 2007. This report excludes physicians not performing brachytherapy for cervical cancer. Results: Of the 256 surveys sent, we report results for 133 respondents who perform one or more implantations per year for locally advanced cervical cancer. Ultrasound aids 56% of physicians with applicator insertion. After insertion, 70% of physicians routinely obtain a computed tomography (CT) scan. The majority (55%) use CT rather than X-ray films (43%) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; 2%) for dose specification to the cervix. However, 76% prescribe to Point A alone instead of using a 3D-derived tumor volume (14%), both Point A and tumor volume (7%), or mg/h (3%). Those using 3D imaging routinely contour the bladder and rectum (94%), sigmoid (45%), small bowel (38%), and/or urethra (8%) and calculate normal tissue dose-volume histogram (DVH) analysis parameters including the D2cc (49%), D1cc (36%), D0.1cc (19%), and/or D5cc (19%). Respondents most commonly modify the treatment plan based on International Commission on Radiation Units bladder and/or rectal point dose values (53%) compared with DVH values (45%) or both (2%). Conclusions: More ABS physician members use CT postimplantation imaging than plain films for visualizing the gynecologic brachytherapy apparatus. However, the majority prescribe to Point A rather than using 3D image based dosimetry. Use of 3D image-based treatment planning for gynecologic brachytherapy has the potential for significant growth in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D image based brachytherapy
  • Cervical cancer
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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