Purpose: To analyze the uncertainties of the rectum due to anisotropic shape variations by using a statistical point distribution model (PDM). Materials and methods: The PDM was applied to the rectum contours that were delineated on planning computed tomography (CT) and cone-beam CT (CBCT) at 80 fractions of 11 patients. The standard deviations (SDs) of systematic and random errors of the shape variations of the whole rectum and the region in which the rectum overlapped with the PTV (ROP regions) were derived from the PDMs at all fractions of each patient. The systematic error was derived by using the PDMs of planning and average rectum surface determined from rectum surfaces at all fractions, while the random error was derived by using a PDM-based covariance matrix at all fractions of each patient. Results: Regarding whole rectum, the population SDs were larger than 1.0 mm along all directions for random error, and along the anterior, superior, and inferior directions for systematic error. The deviation is largest along the superior and inferior directions for systematic and random errors, respectively. For ROP regions, the population SDs of systematic error were larger than 1.0 mm along the superior and inferior directions. The population SDs of random error for the ROP regions were larger than 1.0 mm except along the right and posterior directions. Conclusions: The anisotropic shape variations of the rectum, especially in the ROP regions, should be considered when determining a planning risk volume (PRV) margins for the rectum associated with the acute toxicities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Physics and Astronomy(all)