Technical Note: Cone beam CT imaging for 3D image guided brachytherapy for gynecological HDR brachytherapy

Brigitte Reniers*, Frank Verhaegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose: This paper focuses on a novel image guidance technique for gynecological brachytherapy treatment. The present standard technique is orthogonal x-ray imaging to reconstruct the 3D position of the applicator when the availability of CT or MR is limited. Our purpose is to introduce 3D planning in the brachytherapy suite using a cone beam CT (CBCT) scanner dedicated to brachytherapy. This would avoid moving the patient between imaging and treatment procedures which may cause applicator motion. This could be used to replace the x-ray images or to verify the treatment position immediately prior to dose delivery. Methods: The sources of CBCT imaging artifacts in the case of brachytherapy were identified and removed where possible. The image quality was further improved by modifying the x-ray tube voltage, modifying the compensator bowtie filter and optimizing technical parameters such as the detector gain or tube current. Results: The image quality was adequate to reconstruct the applicators in the treatment planning system. The position of points A and the localization of the organs at risk (OAR) ICRU points is easily achieved. This allows identification of cases where the rectum had moved with respect to the ICRU point which would require asymmetrical source loading. A better visualization is a first step toward a better sparing of the OAR. Conclusions: Treatment planning for gynecological brachytherapy is aided by CBCT images. CBCT presents advantages over CT: acquisition in the treatment room and in the treatment position due to the larger clearance of the CBCT, thereby reducing problems associated to moving patients between rooms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2762-2767
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • image guided brachytherapy
  • cone beam CT
  • gynecological brachytherapy
  • HDR
  • planning
  • 3D imaging

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