Background and purpose: To investigate the influence of dwell time optimizations on dose uniformity characterized by dose values in dose points and dose non-uniformity ratio (DNR) and to analyze which implant parameters have influence on the DNR. Materials and methods: Double-plane breast implants with catheters arranged in triangular pattern were used for the calculations. At a typical breast implant, dose values in dose reference points inside the target volume and volumes enclosed by given isodose surfaces were calculated and compared for non-optimized and optimized implants. The same 6-cm treatment length was used for the comparisons. Using different optimizations plots of dose non-uniformity ratio as a function of catheter separation, source step size, number of catheters, length of active sections were drawn and the minimum DNR values were determined. Results: Optimization resulted in less variation in dose values over dose points through the whole volume and in the central plane only compared to the non-optimized case. At implant configurations consisting of seven catheters with 15-mm separation, 5-mm source step size and various active lengths adapted according to the type of optimization, the no optimization, geometrical (volume mode) and dose point (on dose points and geometry) optimization resulted in similar treatment volumes, but an increased high dose volume was observed due to the optimization. The dose non-uniformity ratio always had the minimum at average dose over dose normalization points, defined in the midpoints between the catheters through the implant volume. The minimum value of DNR depended on catheter separation, source step size, active length and number of catheters. The optimization had only a small influence on DNR. Conclusions: In addition to the reference points in the central plane only, dose points positioned in the whole implant volume can be used for evaluating the dose uniformity of interstitial implants. The dose optimization increases not only the dose uniformity within the implant but also the high dose volume. The optimization on dose points and geometry provides the most uniform dose distribution. The dose non-uniformity ratio can be minimized by selecting the isodose line of the midpoints between the catheters in the whole volume for the dose prescription, but the dose coverage may not be adequate. For a clinically acceptable plan, a compromise should be made between dose non-uniformity and coverage. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
- Dose non-uniformity
- High dose rate
- Interstitial brachytherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging