Previously we have shown that our routine portal imaging (PI) of the craniofacial region in pediatric brain tumor patients contributed an additional 2%-3% of the prescribed dose and up to 200 cGy to the planning target volume (PTV) and nearby organs at risk (OARs). The purpose of this study is to quantify the reduction in dose to PTV and OARs from portal imaging (PI) of the craniofacial region of pediatric patients treated after the implementation of changes in our portal imaging practices. Twenty consecutive pediatric patients were retrospectively studied since the implementation of changes to our portal imaging procedure. Each received portal imaging of treatment fields and orthogonal setup fields to the craniofacial region. PI modifications included a reduction in the field size of setup orthogonal fields without loss of radiographic information needed for treatment verification. In addition, treatment fields were imaged using a single exposure, rather than double exposure. Dose-volume histograms were generated to quantify the dose to the target and critical structures through PI acquisition. These results were compared with our previous cohort of 20 patients who were treated using the former portal imaging practices. The mean additional target dose from portal imaging following the new guidelines was 1.5% of the prescribed dose compared to 2.5% prior to the new portal image practices Symbol. With the new portal imaging practices, the percentage decrease in portal imaging dose to the brainstem, optic structures, cochlea, hypothalamus, temporal lobes, thyroid, and eyes were 25%, 35%, 35%, 51%, 45%, 80%, and 55%, respectively. Reductions in portal imaging doses were significant in all OARs with exception of the brainstem, which showed a trend towards significance. Changes to portal imaging practices can reduce the radiation dose contribution from portal imaging to surrounding OARs by up to 80%. This may have implications on both late toxicity and second cancer development in pediatric brain tumors.
PACS number: 87