Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH)

Radiation therapy has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for breast cancer. But the proximity of the left breast to the heart leaves the heart vulnerable to radiation exposure. This has been shown, in some cases, to lead to serious long-term cardiac complications¹.

Many centers are beginning to have patients use Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) to move the heart away from the breast during therapy. However, achieving this can be challenging². Patients breathe in different ways at different times and may arch their back to simulate a deep breath in. These different movements can appear similar to a patient’s true breath-hold, but do not necessarily separate the heart from the breast.

During a recent study at the University of North Carolina, patients were treated using AlignRT for DIBH. Of these, 0% exhibited radiation-induced abnormalities in blood flow to the heart six months after treatment³.

There are 10 published papers covering the use of AlignRT for DIBH, and accessories are available to make DIBH with AlignRT even simpler for the patient and therapist.

Learn more about our RealTime Coach display, to simplify patients’ breath-hold here. 

1. Darby et al. Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease in Women after Radiotherapy for Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2013; 368:987-998

2. Gierga et al. A Voluntary Breath-Hold Treatment Technique for the Left Breast With Unfavorable Cardiac Anatomy Using Surface Imaging. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Dec 1;84(5):e663-8

3. Zagar et al. Prospective Assessment of Deep Inspiration Breath Hold to Prevent Radiation Associated Cardiac Perfusion Defects in Patients With Left-Sided Breast Cancer J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2015 ;93:3S 2027

4. Marks, L. B. et al. The incidence and functional consequences of RT‑associated cardiac perfusion defects. Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 63, 214–223 (2005)

*This customer quote reports on clinical use and performance of Vision RT’s products by independent users. These are not validated by Vision RT and thus are not endorsed by Vision RT. Users of Vision RT’s products should develop and validate their own workflows consistent with clinical practice within their facility.

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