Intraoperative Factors Associated With Stranded Source Placement Accuracy In Low–dose Rate Prostate Brachytherapy


The quality of a low dose rate prostate brachytherapy implant depends on the accurate placement of sources in their planned locations. This study investigates intraoperative factors that potentially contribute to stranded source placement inaccuracy in prostate brachytherapy.

Materials and Methods

Intraoperative video images of the brachytherapist’s hand motions and needle insertions during the implant procedure were acquired for analysis. Using video analysis software, maximum and average needle insertion velocities were determined. The number of needle insertion attempts and the use of the brachytherapist’s other hand to manipulate the needle direction were also recorded. Sources misplacements were analyzed using an ultrasound-based method described elsewhere.


15 patients agreed to undergo this study. 1619 iodine-125 seeds were inserted using 357 needles. 1197 seeds were confidently identified using ultrasound images and included in the analysis. The mean overall misplacement was 0.49 cm (0 to 2 cm, 95% CI= 0.47-0.51). 614 seeds were delivered with a single pass and 583 seeds with >1 passes (range 2 to 6). The mean maximum needle velocity was 12.34 cm·s-1 (range 4 to 28 cm·s-1) and mean average velocity was 4.76cm·s-1 (range 0.4 to 17.4cm·s-1). 747 seeds were delivered with manipulation of the needle. The generalized linear model (GLM) test was used to analyze factors contributing to seed misplacement and it was found that a maximum speed <12cm·s-1 was associated with a decrease in seed misplacement by 0.049cm vs. a maximum speed > 12 cm·s-1, p=0.0121). Other evaluated factors were found to have no statistically significant correlation with seed misplacement: average speed (p=0.4947), manual manipulation of needle (p=0.9264) and number of needle passes (p=0.8907).


This study identified that needles inserted with lower maximum velocity were associated with less seed misplacement. Manual manipulation of the needle, number of passes and average speed did not show statistically significant correlation with seed misplacement.