Heart position variability during voluntary moderate deep inspiration breath-hold radiotherapy for breast cancer determined by repeat CBCT scans

Paul van Haaren, Fiere Claassen-Janssen, Ingrid van de Sande, Liesbeth Boersma, Maurice van der Sangen, Coen Hurkmans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Voluntary moderate deep inspiration breath hold (vmDIBH) in left-sided breast cancer radiotherapy reduces cardiac dose. The aim of this study was to investigate heart position variability in vmDIBH using CBCT and to compare this variability with differences in heart position between vmDIBH and free breathing (FB).

For 50 patients initial heart position with respect to the field edge (HP-FE) was measured on a vmDIBH planning CT scan. Breath-hold was monitored using an in-house developed vertical plastic stick. On pretreatment CBCT scans, heart position variability with respect to the field edge (DHP-FE) was measured, reflecting heart position variability when using an offline correction protocol. After registering the CBCT scan to the planning CT, heart position variability with respect to the chest wall (DHP-CW) was measured, reflecting heart position variability when using an online correction protocol. As a control group, vmDIBH and FB computed tomography ( CT) scans were acquired for 30 patients and registering both scans on the chest wall.

For 34 out of 50 patients, the average HP-FE and HP-CW increased over the treatment course in comparison to the planning CT. Averaged over all patients and all treatment fractions, the Delta(HP- FE) and the Delta(HP-CW) was 0.8 +/- 4.2 mm (range - 9.4-+ 10.6 mm) and 1.0 +/- 4.4 mm (range - 8.3-+ 10.4 mm) respectively. The average gain in heart to chest wall distance was 11.8 +/- 4.6 mm when using vmDIBH instead of FB. In conclusion, substantial variability in heart position using vmDIBH was observed during the treatment course. (C) 2017 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica Medica: European journal of medical physics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • vmDIBH
  • Heart
  • Breast radiotherapy
  • Intrafraction motion
  • RISK

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