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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-96

Rectal dosimetry in intracavitary brachytherapy by HDR at rural center of Maharashtra: Comparison of two methods

Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Rural Medical College, Loni, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajeev Shrivastava
Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Rural Medical College, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Loni, Taluka - Rahata, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra-413 736
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6203.51936

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The purpose of this study was to calculate the radiation dose at the anterior rectal wall as per the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU 38) recommendations and compare it with the dose calculated by the commonly used intrarectal catheter. Dose delivery by brachytherapy to the cervix is limited by the critical structure of the bladder and rectum. In this study the ICRU-38 rectal point was derived by using a radio-opaque gauze piece on the posterior vaginal wall, and the intrarectal point was derived by inserting a rubber catheter with a wire, inside the rectum. A total of 146 applications were performed in 81 patients. Rectal doses were compared for complementary rectal points R1 and R5, R2 and R6, R3 and R7, and R4 and R8, obtained by both methods. The rectal doses at each complementary pair were compared with each other. The average dose at R1 was 5% higher than at R5 (60.57% vs. 55.57%). The average dose at R2 was 1% higher than at R6 (58% vs. 57%). The average dose at R3 was 1.29% higher than at R7 (52.71% vs. 51.42%), and the average dose at R4 was 1.15% higher than at R8 (43% vs. 41.85%). There were many instances where the rectal dose exceeded by more than 15%, from the R1 to R4 points (43, 22, 21, and 11 times, respectively, for R1-R5, R2-R6, R3-R7, and R4-R8 pairs). The difference in dose between R1 and R5 was significant as seen on the statistical tests, i.e., Pair T test, Wilcoxan Signed Ranks test, and Sign test (p value 0.002). The rectal dose obtained by the intrarectal wire method underestimates the actual dose to the rectum when compared to the ICRU-38 method. Thus ICRU-38 recommendations should be strictly adhered to, to reduce late complications.

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