A software system for interventional magnetic resonance image-guided prostate brachytherapy.Comput Aided Surg. 2000; 5(6):401-13.CA
Current prostatic brachytherapy implant procedures use ultrasound imaging for geometric guidance during surgery, with pre-surgical planning based on ultrasound images and post-surgical dosimetry based on computed tomography (CT). This procedure suffers from the poor soft-tissue contrast of ultrasound and CT and problems inherent in the repositioning of the patient at surgery. We have designed and implemented an integrated real-time imaging and treatment-planning software system that combines the superior soft-tissue contrast of magnetic resonance (MR) images with the real-time acquisition of those images for localization, verification, and dosimetric purposes. The system permits the surgeon and patient to complete all phases of treatment in one setting.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We utilize an intra-operative MR unit that permits real-time imaging and stereotactic localization during a surgical procedure. Our software system integrates with the unit and features (i) a calibration schema to calibrate the prostatic surgical implant template within the unit, (ii) full volumetric data acquisition of the prostate, (iii) interactive three-dimensional (3D) treatment planning with volumetric dose evaluation, and (iv) geometric and dosimetric feedback during the surgical procedure. We utilize a software architecture that uses mediators between the abstract data types, or objects. These mediators communicate state changes in individual objects (e.g., a change in a catheter position) to other objects (e.g., a dose-volume histogram) that depend on these changes. A consistent 3D representation of the treatment volumes allows interactive reconstruction of the volumes on arbitrary MR image sections and real-time dose computations.
We have successfully implemented the system clinically and have treated 143 patients (as of August 2000). The system supports four clinical phases. The first consists of calibrating the implant template with respect to the patient's anatomy and the MR unit. The second consists of acquiring a complete volumetric MR data set of the prostatic volume. The third consists of delineating the treatment volume (often a sub-volume of the prostate) and the dose-limiting critical volumes. These volumes are used in determining the surgical treatment plan based on catheter and seed placement in the prostate and a dosimetric evaluation of all volumes. The final phase consists of implanting the catheters with the radioactive seeds, where each catheter is imaged and compared to the planned position of the catheter, thus allowing a direct comparison, and possible adjustment, of the implanted versus planned catheter position.
The system is highly interactive, and has great flexibility in its design, maintainability, and clinical practice. The system provides an efficient model to support the surgical procedure. The system significantly improves the diagnostic information provided to the clinician and the treatment planner and the geometric accuracy of the surgical procedure compared to ultrasound procedures. The system allows excellent critical structure sparing, both through interactive placement of the catheters with high geometric accuracy and through the definition of the actual sub-prostatic volumes possible with MR.