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Volume 19, Number 5, 2014

Influence of segment width on plan quality for volumetric modulated arc based stereotactic body radiotherapy

Karthikeyan Nithiyanantham, Ganesh Kadirampatti Mani, Vikraman Subramani, Karrthick Karukkupalayam Palaniappan, Mohanraj Uthiran, Sennniandavar Vellengiri, Sambasivaselli Raju, Sanjay S. Supe, Tejinder Kataria



To study the influence of segment width on plan quality for volumetric modulated arc based stereotactic body radiotherapy.


The redundancy of modulation for regularly shaped small volume tumors results in creation of many small segments and an increase of monitor units, with a consequent prolongation of treatment and uncertainty in treatment delivery.

Materials and methods

Six cases each in lung, abdomen and liver were taken for the study. For each case, three VMAT SBRT plans were generated with different penalties on minimum segment width of 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 cm. A comparison was made on the metrics of dose volume histogram, dosimetric indices, monitor units (MUs) and delivery accuracy.


The mean reduction of total MUs when compared with 0.5 cm plan was observed as 12.7 ± 6.0% and 17.5 ± 7.2% for 1.0 cm and 1.5 cm of minimum segment width, respectively. The p value showed a significant degradation in dosimetric indices for 1.5 cm plans when compared with 0.5 cm and 1.0 cm plans. The average deviation of measured dose with TPS calculated was 3.0 ± 1.1%, 2.1 ± 0.84% and 1.8 ± 0.9% for 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 cm, respectively. The calculated gamma index with pass criteria of 2% dose difference and 2 mm distance to agreement was 95.9 ± 2.8%, 96.5 ± 2.6% and 97.8 ± 1.6% as calculated for 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 cm of penalties, respectively. In view of the trade off between delivery efficiency and plan quality, 1 cm minimum segment width plans showed an improvement.


VMAT SBRT plans with increased optimal value of minimum segment width showed better plan quality and delivery efficiency for stereotactic body radiotherapy.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2014; 19(5) : 287-295

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