On correlations in IMRT planning aims

Arkajyoti Roy, Indra J. Das, Omid Nohadani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose was to study correlations amongst IMRT DVH evaluation points and how their relaxation impacts the overall plan. 100 head-and-neck cancer cases, using the Eclipse treatment planning system with the same protocol, are statistically analyzed for PTV, brainstem, and spinal cord. To measure variations amongst the plans, we use (i) interquartile range (IQR) of volume as a function of dose, (ii) interquartile range of dose as a function of volume, and (iii) dose falloff. To determine correlations for institutional and ICRU goals, conditional probabilities and medians are computed. We observe that most plans exceed the median PTV dose (average D50 = 104% prescribed dose). Furthermore, satisfying D50 reduced the probability of also satisfying D98, constituting a negative correlation of these goals. On the other hand, satisfying D50 increased the probability of satisfying D2, suggesting a positive correlation. A positive correlation is also observed between the PTV V105 and V110. Similarly, a positive correlation between the brainstem V45 and V50 is measured by an increase in the conditional median of V45, when V50 is violated. Despite the imposed institutional and international recommendations, significant variations amongst DVH points can occur. Even though DVH aims are evaluated independently, sizable correlations amongst them are possible, indicating that some goals cannot be satisfied concurrently, calling for unbiased plan criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-59
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016


  • Correlations
  • DVH
  • IMRT plan evaluation
  • Planning aims
  • Statistical analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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