Vol 27, No 1 (2022)
Research paper
Published online: 2022-01-19

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Dosimetric sensitivity of leaf width on volumetric modulated arc therapy plan quality: an objective approach

Ghulam Murtaza1, Muhammad Shamshad2, Munir Ahmed3, Shahid Mehmood4, Ehsan Ullah Khan5
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2022;27(1):76-85.


Background: Several authors investigated a dosimetric impact of leaf width on radiotherapy plan quality subjectively, and concluded that thinner leaf-width multileaf collimators (MLC) are beneficial because of their better coverage of clinically relevant structures.

Study aimed to investigate the dosimetric effect of MLC leaf width on volumetric modulated arc therapy plan quality by objective approach.

Materials and methods: Twelve of each prostate and head-and-neck patients were planned for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatments for MLC leaf widths of 4 mm and 10 mm. Three different VMAT schemes single-arc, dual-arc and two combined independent single-arcs were optimized. Dose volume histogram and Isodose distribution were used for quantitative and qualitative comparison of the treatment plan, respectively. Dose-volume-indices of the planning target volume, organs at risk and number of delivered monitor units were compared. The 4 mm leaf width being reference over 10 mm and results were noted as statistically significant if p ≤ 0.05 using student t-test.

Results: All VMAT schemes for both tumor sites showed a gain in target coverage, similar organs at risk doses and higher monitor units to be delivered, when changing leaf width from 10 mm to 4 mm. The p-values were significant for majority of head-and-neck dose indices. 

Conclusion: The thinner-leaf MLCs, owing to their better spatial resolution, result in an overall gain for target coverage, while maintaining permissible doses to the organs at risk.

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