Surgical clips assist in the visualization of the lumpectomy cavity in three-dimensional conformal accelerated partial-breast irradiation

Maia Dzhugashvili, Charlotte Pichenot, Ariane Dunant, Corinne Balleyguier, Suzette Delaloge, Marie-Christine Mathieu, Jean-Rémy Garbay, Hugo Marsiglia, Céline Bourgier
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2010, 76 (5): 1320-4

PURPOSE: To determine to what extent the placement of surgical clips helps delineate the cavity in three-dimensional conformal accelerated partial-breast irradiation.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Planning CT images of 100 lumpectomy cavities were reviewed in a cohort of 100 consecutive patients. The cavities were determined and categorized by two radiation oncologists according to cavity visualization score criteria and the breast density score. The two physicians first attempted to delineate the lumpectomy cavity without clips and then with clips.

RESULTS: In the case of high-density mammary tissue, the breast remodeling done during surgery does not enable the lumpectomy cavity to be sufficiently visualized. The use of surgical clips significantly improved the ability to visualize the lumpectomy cavity, with a 69% rate of concordance between physicians regardless of the breast tissue density.

CONCLUSION: The placement of surgical clips at lumpectomy enables visualization of the lumpectomy cavity and allows upgrading of the cavity visualization score on CT scans obtained for accelerated partial-breast irradiation treatment planning.

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