eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 12
Original paper

Evaluation of a new bi-valve vaginal speculum applicator design for gynecologic interstitial brachytherapy

Hiroaki Kunogi
Nanae Yamaguchi
Keisuke Sasai

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2020; 12, 1: 27–34
Online publish date: 2020/02/28
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We designed a bi-valve vaginal speculum high-dose-rate (HDR) interstitial gynecologic brachytherapy applicator. This allows for both a direct view of the cervix and image-guided brachytherapy applicator placement. The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of the new applicator.

Material and methods
The applicator was designed to have a 25-mm arc, which can be spread transversely to 35-mm wide, with 10 insertion holes; it was produced using a stereolithographic printer with biocompatible Dental SG resin. For resin radiodensity was measured in Hounsfield units (HU) using computed tomography (CT). Comparing the new applicator with a conventional intracavitary applicator, we evaluated the treated volume (including dimensions of 100% isodose volume at the central axis), V100/D90/D98 for a hypothetical cervix (a 2-cm-long and 4-cm-diameter cylinder), and dose points of organs at risk (OARs) (at 25 and 30 mm from the tandem). Based on dose-volume histogram (DVH) analysis of the cervix and dose points of OARs, the range of tolerance for the percent dose difference in the prescription dose was set at 5%.

The mean radiodensity of the Dental SG resin, which was magnetic resonance imaging compatible, was 118 HU. Dimensions of the 100% isodose volume measured at the central axis were 4.4 × 6.6 × 7.4 cm for the new applicator and 4.3 × 6.0 × 7.7 cm for the intracavitary applicator. The 100% prescription dose volumes were 110 cc and 113 cc for the new and conventional applicator, respectively. The percent difference in the hypothetical cervix V100, D90, and D98 between the new and intracavitary applicator were within 5%. The percent differences in dose points of OARs at 25 and 30 mm between the new and conventional applicators were within 5%.

Our speculum applicator can reproduce a conventional pear-shaped dose distribution. Our current clinical practice will use this applicator, which can improve the patient’s treatment results.


gynecologic applicator, interstitial brachytherapy applicator, 3D printing

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