Defining the superior border of posterior fossa radiation treatment fields.
Lateral posterior fossa treatment fields are usually defined on traditional simulation films based on bony landmarks. The superior field border, intended to include the apex of the tentorium cerebelli, is frequently difficult to define. While sagittal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images or three-dimensional treatment planning tools are good means to locate the tentorial apex, these are not always available. We herein describe a method for locating the tentorial apex based on bony landmarks.
Methods and materials
Midsagittal magnetic resonance images of 53 patients were reviewed. Using a Cartesian grid, the geometric relationship between the tentorial apex and several bony landmarks was assessed. Two lines were defined: the first connected the posterior clinoid and the internal occipital protuberance (AB). The second was perpendicular to the first, included the tentorial apex, and extended from the base of the skull inferiorly to the "crown" of the skull superiorly (DE). Relationships between measurements were made using linear regression and least square fits.
Line DE was within 5 mm of the perpendicular bisector of line AB in 83% (44/53) of patients. The tentorial apex was located within 10 mm of the midpoint of DE in 91% (48/53) of patients.
In the majority of patients, the location of the tentorial apex can be estimated based on bony landmarks, to within approximately 10 mm. The technique described is a useful means of estimating the location of the tentorial apex in patients where sagittal MRI imaging or three-dimensional treatment planning tools are not available.
Drayer, JA; Marks, LB; Bentel, G; Halperin, EC
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