Is individual perfusion dose-response different than ventilation dose-response for lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy?

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The British journal of radiology


OBJECTIVE: Current ventilation and perfusion dose-response studies focus on single-modalities (ventilation or perfusion) and perform pulmonary-toxicity assessment related to radiotherapy on a population-based basis. This study aims at quantitative and clinical evaluation of intrapatient differences between ventilation and perfusion dose-responses among lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy.

METHODS: 20 patients enrolled on a prospective functional avoidance protocol underwent single photon emission computed tomography-CT ventilation and perfusion scans pre- and post-radiotherapy. Relative changes in pre- to post-treatment ventilation and perfusion in lung regions receiving ≥20 Gy were calculated. In addition, the slopes of the linear fit to the relative ventilation and perfusion changes in regions receiving 0-60 Gy were calculated. A radiologist read and assigned a functional defect score to pre- and post-treatment ventilation/perfusion scans.

RESULTS: 25% of patients had a difference >35% between ventilation and perfusion pre- to post-treatment changes and 20-30% of patients had opposite directions for ventilation and perfusion pre- to post-treatment changes. Using a semi-quantitative scale, radiologist assessment showed that 20% of patients had different pre- to post-treatment ventilation changes when compared to pre- to post-treatment perfusion changes.

CONCLUSION: Our data showed that ventilation dose-response can differ from perfusion dose-response for 20-30% of patients. Therefore, when performing thoracic dose-response in cancer patients, it is insufficient to look at ventilation or perfusion alone; but rather both modes of functional imaging may be needed when predicting for clinical outcomes.

ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: The significance of this study can be highlighted by the differences between the intrapatient dose-response assessments of this analysis compared to existing population-based dose-response analyses. Elucidating intrapatient ventilation and perfusion dose-response differences may be valuable in predicting pulmonary toxicity in lung cancer patients post-radiotherapy.


Online ahead of print.

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