Object: Radiosurgical treatment of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM) requires the precise definition of the nidus of the lesion in stereotactic space. This cannot be accomplished using simple stereotactic angiography. but requires a combination of stereotactic biplanar angiographic images and stereotactic contrast-enhanced computerized tomography (CT) scans. In the present study the authors describe a method in which three-dimensional (3D) rotational angiography is integrated into stereotactic space to aid treatment planning for radiosurgery.
Methods: Twenty patients harboring AVMs underwent treatment planning prior to linear accelerator radiosurgery. Planning involved the acquisition of two different data sets, one of which was obtained using the standard method (a combination of biplanar stereotactic angiography with stereotactic CT scanning), and the other, which was procured using a new technique (nonstereotactic 3D rotational angiography combined with stereotactic CT scanning by a procedure of image fusion). The treatment plan that was developed using the new method was compared with that developed using the standard one. For each patient the number of isocenters and the dimension of selected collimators were the same, based on the information supplied in both methods. Target coordinates were modified in only five cases and by a limited amount (mean 0.7 mm, range 0.3-1 mm).
Conclusions: The new imaging modality offers an easier and more immediate interpretation of 3D data, while maintaining the same accuracy in target definition as that provided by the standard technique. Moreover, the new method has the advantage of using nonstereotactic 3D angiography, which can be performed at a different site and a different time with respect to the irradiation procedure.