Relocatable fixation systems in intracranial stereotactic radiotherapy Accuracy of serial CT scans and patient acceptance in a randomized design

A. Theelen, J. Martens, G. Bosmans, R. Houben, J. J. Jager, I. Rutten, P. Lambin, A. W. Minken, B. G. Baumert*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The goal was to provide a quantitative evaluation of the accuracy of three different fixation systems for stereotactic radiotherapy and to evaluate patients' acceptance for all fixations. A total of 16 consecutive patients with brain tumours undergoing fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (SCRT) were enrolled after informed consent (Clinical NCT00181350). Fixation systems evaluated were the BrainLABA (R) mask, with and without custom made bite-block (fixations S and A) and a homemade neck support with bite-block (fixation B) based on the BrainLABA (R) frame. The sequence of measurements was evaluated in a randomized manner with a cross-over design and patients' acceptance by a questionnaire. The mean three-dimensional (3D) displacement and standard deviations were 1.16 +/- 0.68 mm for fixation S, 1.92 +/- 1.28 and 1.70 +/- 0.83 mm for fixations A and B, respectively. There was a significant improvement of the overall alignment (3D vector) when using the standard fixation instead of fixation A or B in the craniocaudal direction (p = 0.037). Rotational deviations were significantly less for the standard fixation S in relation to fixations A (p = 0.005) and B (p = 0.03). EPI imaging with off-line correction further improved reproducibility. Five out of 8 patients preferred the neck support with the bite-block. The mask fixation system in conjunction with a bite-block is the most accurate fixation for SCRT reducing craniocaudal and rotational movements. Patients favoured the more comfortable but less accurate neck support. To optimize the accuracy of SCRT, additional regular portal imaging is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-90
JournalStrahlentherapie Und onkologie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Stereotactic intracranial radiotherapy
  • Brain tumors
  • Bite-block
  • Serial CT
  • Reproducibility

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