Understanding CT imaging

In modern radiotherapy, the patient treatment plan is designed and calculated on a radiotherapy CT planning scan. This usually involves contouring the organs and tissues within the patient so that the dose received can be accurately calculated and the treatment dose can be delivered precisely to the target volumes.

In addition to the CT planning scan it may be useful to have additional scans:

  • Diagnostic CT scans may provide extra information.
  • MRI scans provide a lot more information and contrast for soft tissues and enable clinicians to more accurately contour soft tissue structures (eg prostate and in the head & neck regions).
  • PET imaging enables the functional state of tumours and other tissues to be taken into account.

It is ideal if these scans are carried out with the patient in the same position as in the CT planning scan.

Using Philips Syntegra image fusion software all of these scans can be registered and fused with the CT planning scan so that the contours delineated by the clinician on the MRI or PET scans is transferred to the CT Planning scan to enable more precise treatment planning.

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