Patient positioning using implanted gold markers with the Novalis Body system in the thoracic spine.

Christopher J. Watchman, Russell J. Hamilton, Baldassarre Stea, Alan J. Mignault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of implanted gold marker registration compared with bony fusion alignment for patient positioning using the Novalis Body system. METHODS: Eighteen treatment fractions of stereotactic spinal radiotherapy were analyzed for three patients who each had three implanted gold seeds placed near their spinal lesions before radiotherapy. At each treatment session, the registration was first performed using bony fusion and then verified by another bony fusion, followed by registration with implanted markers. The software reported the calculated shifts for both methods. In addition, the actual three-dimensional coordinate positions of the markers were read using PTDReader software. Implanted marker positions were analyzed for variations in individual maker coordinate displacement, interseed distances, and area transcribed by them. Measured positional differences between the two fusion methods were applied to actual treatment plans to assess the resulting dosimetric differences in the treatment plans. RESULTS: Both fusion algorithms were shown to localize the patient well, within 1.5 mm, but the implanted marker fusion consistently related less deviation from the planned isocenter, by approximately 0.5 mm, than did the bony fusion. Exceptions to this localization occurred when the average interseed distances were less than 3.0 cm and resulted in the two registration methods being equivalent. Implanted spine markers were also shown to have less than 0.7 mm deviation from the planned marker coordinates, indicating no migration of the seeds. Dose distributions were found to be highly dependant on differences in fusion method, with spinal cord doses up to 350% greater with bony fusion than with implanted markers. CONCLUSION: Implanted markers used with the Novalis Body system have been shown to be more effective in patient positioning than the bony fusion method in the thoracic spine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A62-68; discussion A68
Issue number5 Suppl
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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