A comparison of methods for adapting 177Lu dose-voxel-kernels to tissue inhomogeneities

Götz T, Schmidkonz C, Lang EW, Maier A, Kuwert T, Ritt P (2019)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2019


Book Volume: 64

Article Number: 245011

Journal Issue: 24

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab5b81


In 177Lu radionuclide therapies, dosimetry is used for determining patient-individual dose burden. Standard approaches provide whole organ doses only. For assessing dose heterogeneity inside organs, voxel-wise dosimetry based on 3D SPECT/CT imaging could be applied. Often, this is achieved by convolving voxel-wise time-activity-curves with appropriate dose-voxel-kernels (DVK). The DVKs are meant to model dose deposition, and can be more accurate if modelled for the specific tissue type under consideration. In literature, DVKs are often not adapted to these inhomogeneities, or simple approximation schemes are applied. For 26 patients, which had previously undergone a 177Lu-PSMA or -DOTATOC therapy, decay maps, mass-density maps as well as tissue-type maps were derived from SPECT/CT acquisitions. These were used for a voxel-based dosimetry based on convolution with DVKs (each of size (4.8mm)3) obtained by four different DVK methods proposed in literature. The simplest only considers a spatially constant soft-tissue DVK (herein named 'constant'), while others either take into account only the local density of the center voxel of the DVK (herein named 'center-voxel') or scale each voxel linearly according to the proper mass density deduced from the CT image (herein named 'density') or considered both the local mass density as well as the direct path between the center voxel and any voxel in its surrounding (herein named 'percentage'). Deviations between resulting dose values and those from full Monte-Carlo simulations (MC simulations) were compared for selected organs and tissue-types. For each DVK method, inter-patient variability was considerable showing both under- and over-estimation of energy dose compared to the MC result for all tissue densities higher than soft tissue. In kidneys and spleen, 'constant' and 'density'-scaled DVKs achieved estimated doses with smallest deviations to the full MC gold standard (∼5%-8% underestimation). For low and high density tissue types such as lung and adipose or bone tissue, alternative DVK methods like 'center-voxel'- and 'percentage'- scaled achieved superior results, respectively. Concerning computational load, dose estimation with the DVK method 'constant' needs about 1.1 s per patient, center-voxel scaling amounts to 1.2 s, density scaling needs 1.4 s while percentage scaling consumes 860.3 s per patient. In this study encompassing a large patient cohort and four different DVK estimation methods, no single DVK-adaption method was consistently better than any other in case of soft tissue kernels. Hence in such cases the simplest DVK method, labeled 'constant', suffices. In case of tumors, often located in tissues of low (lung) or high (bone) density, more sophisticated DVK methods excel. The high inter-patient variability indicates that for evaluating new algorithms, a sufficiently large patient cohort needs to be involved.

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Götz, T., Schmidkonz, C., Lang, E.W., Maier, A., Kuwert, T., & Ritt, P. (2019). A comparison of methods for adapting 177Lu dose-voxel-kernels to tissue inhomogeneities. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 64(24). https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6560/ab5b81


Götz, Theresa, et al. "A comparison of methods for adapting 177Lu dose-voxel-kernels to tissue inhomogeneities." Physics in Medicine and Biology 64.24 (2019).

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