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The clinical utility of magnetic resonance imaging in 3-dimensional treatment planning of brain neoplasms

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0360-3016(92)90727-y
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Three-Dimensional Radiotherapy Treatment Planning
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Medicine


Abstract Results of the clinical experience gained since 1986 in the treatment planning of patients with brain neoplasms through integration of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) into computerized tomography (CT)-based, three-dimensional treatment planning are presented. Data from MRI can now be fully registered with CT data using appropriate three-dimensional coordinate transformations allowing: (a) display of MRI defined structures on CT images; (b) treatment planning of composite CT-MRI volumes; (c) dose display on either CT or MRI images. Treatment planning with non-coplanar beam arrangements is also facilitated by MRI because of direct acquisition of information in multiple, orthogonal planes. The advantages of this integration of information are especially evident in certain situations, for example, low grade astrocytomas with indistinct CT margins, tumors with margins obscured by bone artifact on CT scan. Target definitions have repeatedly been altered based on MRI detected abnormalities not visualized on CT scans. Regions of gadolinium enhancement on MRI T1-weighted scans can be compared to the contrast-enhancing CT tumor volumes, while abnormalities detected on MRI T2-weighted scans are the counterpart of CT-defined edema. Generally, MRI markedly increased the apparent macroscopic tumor volume from that seen on contrast-CT alone. However, CT tumor information was also necessary as it defined abnormalities not always perceptible with MRI (on average, 19% of composite CT-MRI volume seen on CT only). In all, the integration of MRI data with CT information has been found to be practical, and often necessary, for the three-dimensional treatment of brain neoplasms.

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