eISSN: 2081-2841
ISSN: 1689-832X
Journal of Contemporary Brachytherapy
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vol. 16
Original paper

Fletcher suit or ring: A comparison of Fletcher suit and ring applicators for retroverted uteri

Vrushab Rao
Bhooshan Zade
Soumya Singh
Sathiya Narayanan
Pooja Moundekar
Medical Physicist

  1. Department of CyberKnife Radiosurgery and Radiation Oncology, Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, India
J Contemp Brachytherapy 2024; 16, 2: 128–131
Online publish date: 2024/04/13
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Approximately 20% of women worldwide have a retroverted uterus. A retroverted uterus is closer to the rectum and may cause toxicity during brachytherapy. Upon manipulation, a small percentage turn anteverted. Conventional brachytherapy applicators are designed for an anteverted uterus and can pose issues during insertion. Modified Fletcher suit and ring applicators have major differences in their geometry to achieve similar target coverage, and were analyzed in this study with respect to immediate adverse events and dosimetry.

Material and methods:
Three hundred seventy-four consecutive applications performed over a 20-month period were studied retrospectively to identify intra-cavitary applications (ICAs) in retroverted uteri. Cases were divided into 2 groups: modified Fletcher suit applicator with hemi-ovoids (group A) and ring applicator (group B). D2cc for bladder and rectum were noted, and acute adverse events were recorded.

Seventy-five applications were identified, out of which 47 cases used Fletcher suit applicator, and 28 cases used ring applicator. The median bladder D2cc for group A and B were 5.98 Gy and 6.3 Gy, respectively, and the median rectum D2cc was 5.27 Gy and 3.68 Gy, respectively; the median dose prescribed to point A was 6 Gy (range, 5.5-9.0 Gy). All patients had a point A coverage between 97% and 102%. Eighteen cases in both groups complained of pain requiring analgesics. Twenty-five cases (53.2%) and 20 cases (71.4%) in group A and B, respectively, required dose optimization, which was statistically insignificant (p > 0.11). A significant difference was identified (p < 0.00001) in rectal doses. A higher reported pain was noted in ring applicator group (p < 0.03). No patient experienced a profuse bleeding.

In most parameters, the two applicators demonstrated comparable results. The control of rectal dosage is superior in the ring applicator at the cost of higher pain incidence. Patient’s comfort and rectal dose in EBRT should be taken into consideration, with preference given to the ring applicator.


ring applicator, cervical cancer, HDR brachytherapy, Fletcher suit applicator, retroverted uterus

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