A Virtual Frame System for Stereotactic Radiosurgery Planning

Eric Ford, David Purger, Erik Tryggestad, Todd McNutt, John Christodouleas, Daniele Rigamonti, Ori Shokek, Sang Won, Jessica Zhou, Michael Lim, John Wong, Larry Kleinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: We describe a computerized (or virtual) model of a stereotactic head frame to enable planning prior to the day of radiosurgery. The location of the virtual frame acts as a guide to frame placement on the day of the procedure. Methods and Materials: The software consists of a triangular mesh representation of the essential frame hardware that can be overlaid with any MR scan of the patient and manipulated in three dimensions. The software calculates regions of the head that will actually be accessible for treatment, subject to the geometric constraints of the Leksell Gamma Knife hardware. DICOM-compliant MR images with virtual fiducial markers overlaid onto the image can then be generated for recognition by the treatment planning system. Results: Retrospective evaluation of the software on 24 previously treated patients shows a mean deviation of the position of the virtual frame from the actual frame position of 1.6 ± 1.3 mm. Initial clinical use on five patients indicates an average discrepancy of the virtual frame location and the actual frame location of <1 mm. MR images with virtual fiducial markers can be imported into radiosurgical treatment planning software and used to generate an initial treatment plan. Conclusions: The virtual frame provides a tool for prospective determination of lesion accessibility, optimization of the frame placement, and treatment planning before the day of the procedure. This promises to shorten overall treatment times, improve patient comfort, and reduce the need for repeat treatments due to suboptimally placed frames.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1249
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 2008


  • Gamma Knife
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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