Aims: To evaluate the effect of incorporating daily ultrasound scanning to reduce variation in bladder filling before prostate bed radiotherapy. The primary aim was to confirm that coverage of the planning target volume (PTV) with the 95% isodose was within tolerance when the ultrasound-determined bladder volume was within individualised patient limits. Materials and methods: Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images were acquired on 10 occasions during the course of treatment to assess systematic changes in rectal or bladder volume as part of a standard offline image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) protocol. In addition, through a two-part study an ultrasound scan of the bladder was added to the IGRT protocol. In the Part 1 study, the ultrasound-determined bladder volume at the time of treatment simulation in 26 patients was compared with the simulation computed tomography cranio-caudal bladder length. The relationship between the two was used to establish bladder volume tolerance limits for the interventional component of the Part 2 study. In the Part 2 study, 24 patients underwent ultrasound scanning before treatment. When bladder volumes were outside the specified limits, they were asked to drink more water or void as appropriate until the volume was within tolerance. Results: Based on the results of the Part 1 study, a 100ml tolerance was applied in the Part 2 study. Seventy-six per cent of patients found to have bladder volumes outside tolerance were able to satisfactorily adjust their bladder volumes on demand. Comparing the bladder volumes with the CBCT data revealed that the bladder scanner correctly predicted that the target volume would be accurately targeted (using surrogate end points) in 83% of treatment fractions. Conclusion: A simple hand-held ultrasound bladder scanner provides a practical, inexpensive, online solution to confirming that the bladder volume is within acceptable, patient-specific limits before treatment delivery, with the potential to improve overall treatment accuracy.
- Bladder filling