Correlation of dosimetric factors with the development of symptomatic radiation pneumonitis in stereotactic body radiotherapy

Jeffrey M. Ryckman, Michael Baine, Joseph Carmicheal, Ferdinand Osayande, Richard Sleightholm, Kaeli Samson, Dandan Zheng, Weining Zhen, Chi Lin, Chi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The development of radiation pneumonitis (RP) after Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) is known to be associated with many different factors, although historical analyses of RP have commonly utilized heterogeneous fractionation schemes and methods of reporting. This study aims to correlate dosimetric values and their association with the development of Symptomatic RP according to recent reporting standards as recommended by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Methods: We performed a single-institution retrospective review for patients who received SBRT to the lung from 2010 to 2017. Inclusion criteria required near-homogeneous tumoricidal (α/β = 10 Gy) biological effective dose (BED10) of 100-105 Gy (e.g., 50/5, 48/4, 60/8), one or two synchronously treated lesions, and at least 6 months of follow up or documented evidence of pneumonitis. Symptomatic RP was determined clinically by treating radiation oncologists, requiring radiographic evidence and the administration of steroids. Dosimetric parameters and patient factors were recorded. Lung volumes subtracted gross tumor volume(s). Wilcoxon Rank Sums tests were used for nonparametric comparison of dosimetric data between patients with and without RP; p-values were Bonferroni adjusted when applicable. Logistic regressions were conducted to predict probabilities of symptomatic RP using univariable models for each radiation dosimetric parameter. Results: The final cohort included 103 treated lesions in 93 patients, eight of whom developed symptomatic RP (n = 8; 8.6%). The use of total mean lung dose (MLD) > 6 Gy alone captured five of the eight patients who developed symptomatic RP, while V20 > 10% captured two patients, both of whom demonstrated a MLD > 6 Gy. The remaining three patients who developed symptomatic RP without exceeding either metric were noted to have imaging evidence of moderate interstitial lung disease, inflammation of the lungs from recent concurrent chemoradiation therapy to the contralateral lung, or unique peri-tumoral inflammatory appearance at baseline before treatment. Conclusions: This study is the largest dosimetric analysis of symptomatic RP in the literature, of which we are aware, that utilizes near-homogenous tumoricidal BED fractionation schemes. Mean lung dose and V20 are the most consistently reported of the various dosimetric parameters associated with symptomatic RP. MLD should be considered alongside V20 in the treatment planning process. Trial registration: Retrospectively registered on IRB 398-17-EP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 13 2020


  • Dosimetry
  • Radiation pneumonitis
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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