Correlating DCE-MRI Vascular Changes and T2-MRI Contour Changes of the Muscles of Swallowing in Patients with Osteoradionecrosis of the Mandible following Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancers.




Cooksey, Luke
Fuller, Clifton
Lai, Stephen
Mohamed, Abdallah


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PURPOSE: Radiotherapy is a highly-effective mainstay of the standard treatment regimen for head and neck cancers. Though beneficial in most cases, radiotherapy in the head and neck area carries several toxicity risks associated with treatment: dysphagia, chronic aspiration pneumonia, and osteoradionecrosis are considered amongst those with considerable negative impact. Osteoradionecrosis (ORN), or death of bone tissue due to radiation, affects only a small percentage of those receiving radiotherapy. However, ORN carries significant risks and detriments to quality-of-life when it does occur. Our work in this area seeks to identify and correlate changes in Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced (DCE) MRI vascular parameters with changes in T2-MRI swallowing muscle contours in patients who have received a diagnosis of ORN following Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). METHODS: For 95 patients who received a diagnosis of ORN, swallowing muscles were precisely contoured on pre-treatment and during-treatment T2 MRI images. The images were then compiled and registered with pre-treatment CT-based radiation plans and DCE-MRI images using a software called "Dicompyler." RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: While the work is still on-going, preliminary observations have indicated it is likely the overall aim to create a database registry and timeline for assessing patient risk of ORN development is very possible. Future directions, based on preliminary observations, should be to continue compiling and registering ORN patient correlation data and to begin preliminary work of establishing parameters and algorithms that can be safely utilized in patients for analysis of clinical efficacy and effectiveness.