Dose constraints to organs at risk for conformational and stereotactic radiotherapy: Small bowel and duodenum

F. Goupy*, E. Chajon, J. Castelli, Prisé Le Prisé, L. Duvergé, N. Jaksic, G. Vogin, Monpetit, V. Klein, L. de Bosschère, P. Maingon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Radiotherapy of abdominopelvic primary or secondary lesions in conformational or stereotactic techniques is in full development. The small bowel is highly sensitive to irradiation and is the main organ at risk limiting prescription doses. This literature review aims to define the dose constraints to the small bowel and the duodenum in conformational and stereotactic body radiotherapy. The small bowel including the duodenum, jejunum and ileum is delineated on the simulation scanner. The radio-induced intestinal toxicities are acute related to the cellular depopulation of the intestinal mucosa, and late of more complex pathophysiology associating depletion in stem cells, microangiopathy, chronic inflammation and fibrosis. The main predictive factor of intestinal toxicity is the dose–volume ratio. In conformational radiotherapy, the dose constraints to the duodenum are: V25 Gy < 45% and V35 Gy < 20%. The jejunum and ileum dose constraints are for delineation by intestinal loop or peritoneal cavity respectively: V15 Gy < 275 mL or V15 Gy < 830 mL and V45 Gy < 150 mL. In stereotactic body radiotherapy, small bowel dose constraints depend on fractionation and are defined on a small volume and on a maximum dose at one point. Intestinal toxicity is also dependent on factors intrinsic to the patient and radiosensitizers such as targeted therapies or chemotherapies. With the development of new techniques allowing dose escalation on the tumour and the development of inverse planning, the definition of dose constraints to the small bowel is essential for current practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-618
Number of pages6
JournalCancer radiotherapie : journal de la Societe francaise de radiotherapie oncologique
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Conformational radiotherapy
  • Dose constraints
  • Duodenum
  • Intestinal toxicity
  • Small bowel
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy
  • Targeted therapies


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