Bronchial Stenosis in Central Pulmonary Tumors Treated With Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

Barbara L. T. Rijksen, Maddalena M. G. Rossi, Iris Walraven, Barbara Stam, Joost L. Knegjens, Judi N. A. van Diessen, Ferry Lalezari, Jan-Jakob Sonke, José S. A. Belderbos

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Purpose: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in lung tumors has an excellent local control due to the high delivered dose. Proximity of the proximal bronchial tree (PBT) to the high dose area may result in pulmonary toxicity. Bronchial stenosis is an adverse event that can occur after high dose to the PBT. Literature on the risk of developing bronchial stenosis is limited. We therefore evaluated the risk of bronchial stenosis for tumors central to the PBT and correlated the dose to the bronchi. Methods and Materials: Patients with a planning tumor volume (PTV) ≤2 cm from PBT receiving SBRT (8 × 7.5 Gy) between 2015 to 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Main bronchi and lobar bronchi were manually delineated. Follow-up computed tomography scans were analyzed for bronchial stenosis and atelectasis. Bronchial stenosis was assessed using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events Version 4.0 (CTCAEv4). Patient, tumor, dosimetric factors and survival were evaluated between patients with and without stenosis using uni- and multivariate and Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: Fifty-one patients were analyzed with a median age of 70 years and World Health Organization (WHO) performance status ≤1 in 92.2%. Median follow-up was 36 months (interquartile range [IQR], 19.6-45.4) and median overall survival 48 months (IQR 21.5-59.3). In 15 patients (29.4%) bronchial stenosis was observed on follow-up computed tomography scan. Grade 1 stenosis was seen in 21.6% (n = 11), grade 2 in 7.8% (n = 4). No grade ≥3 stenosis was observed. Median time to stenosis was 9.6 months (IQR 4.4-19.2). Patients who developed stenosis had significantly larger gross tumor volume with a median of 19 cm3(IQR 7.7-63.2) versus 5.2 cm3 (IQR 1.7-11.3, P <.01). Prognostic factors in multivariate analysis for stenosis were age (P = .03; odds ratio [OR] 1.1), baseline dyspnea (P = .02 OR 7.7), and the mean lobar bronchus dose (P = .01; OR 1.1). Conclusions: Low-grade (≤2) lobar bronchial stenosis is a complication in approximately one-third of patients after SBRT for lung tumors with a PTV ≤2 cm from PBT. Prognostic risk factors were age, baseline dyspnea and mean dose on a lobar bronchus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPractical radiation oncology
Early online date2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

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