The relatively stationary anatomy of the intracranial compartment has allowed the development of stereotactic radiosurgery as an effective treatment option for many intracranial lesions. Difficulty in accurately tracking extracranial targets has limited its development in the treatment of these lesions. The ability to track extracranial structures in real time with ultrasound images allows a system to upgrade and interface pretreatment volumetric images for extracranial applications. In this report the authors describe this technique as applied to the treatment of localized metastatic spinal disease.
The extracranial stereotactic system consists of an optically tracked ultrasonography unit that can be registered to a linear accelerator coordinate system. Stereotactic ultrasound images are acquired following patient positioning, based on a pretreatment computerized tomography (CT) simulation. The soft-tissue shifts between the virtual CT-based treatment plan and the actual treatment are determined. The degree of patient offset is tracked and used to correct the treatment plan.
The ultrasonography-based stereotactic navigation system is accurate to within an approximate means of 1.5 mm based on testing with an absolute coordinate phantom. A radiosurgical treatment was delivered using the system for localization of a metastatic spinal lesion. Compared with the virtual CT simulation, the actual treatment plan isocenter was shifted 12.2 mm based on the stereotactic ultrasound image. The patient was treated using noncoplanar beams to a dose of 15.0 Gy to the 80% isodose shell in a single fraction.
A system for high-precision radiosurgical treatment of metastatic spinal tumors has been developed, tested, and applied clinically. Optical tracking of the ultrasonography probe provides real-time tracking of the patient anatomy and allows computation of the target displacement prior to treatment delivery. The results reported here suggest the feasibility and safety of the technique.