Development of a quantitative analysis method for assessing patient body surface deformation using an optical surface tracking system

Radiol Phys Technol. 2022 Dec;15(4):367-378. doi: 10.1007/s12194-022-00676-0. Epub 2022 Aug 30.


This study aimed to develop a new method to quantitatively analyze body shape changes in patients during radiotherapy without additional radiation exposure using an optical surface tracking system. This method's accuracy was evaluated using a cubic phantom with a known shift. Surface images of three-dimensionally printed phantoms, which simulated the head and neck shapes of real patients before and after treatment, were used to create a deformation surface area histogram. The near-maximum deformation value covering an area of 2 cm2 in the surface image (Def-2cm2) was calculated. A volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plan was also created on the pre-treatment phantom, and the dose distribution was recalculated on the post-treatment phantom to compare the dose indices. Surface images of four patients were analyzed to evaluate Def-2cm2 and examine whether this method can be used in clinical cases. Experiments with the cubic phantom resulted in a mean deformation error of 0.08 mm. With head and neck phantoms, the Def-2cm2 value was 17.5 mm, and the dose that covered 95% of the planning target volume in the VMAT plan decreased by 11.7%, indicating that deformation of the body surface may affect the dose distribution. Although analysis of the clinical data showed no clinically relevant deformation in any of the cases, slight skin sagging and respiratory changes in the body surface were observed. The proposed method can quantitatively and accurately evaluate the deformation of a body surface. This method is expected to be used to make decisions regarding modifications to treatment plans.

Keywords: Image registration; Optical surface tracking; Surface deformation; Surface-guided radiotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted* / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated* / methods