Radiotherapy respiratory motion management in hepatobiliary and pancreatic malignancies: a systematic review of patient factors influencing effectiveness of motion reduction with abdominal compression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effectiveness of abdominal compression for motion management in hepatobiliary-pancreatic (HPB) radiotherapy has not been systematically evaluated.
Method & Materials:
A systematic review was carried out using PubMed/Medline, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL databases up to 1 July 2021. No date restrictions were applied. Additional searches were carried out using the University of Manchester digital library, Google Scholar and of retrieved papers’ reference lists. Studies conducted evaluating respiratory motion utilising imaging with and without abdominal compression in the same patients available in English were included. Studies conducted in healthy volunteers or majority non-HPB sites, not providing descriptive motion statistics or patient characteristics before and after compression in the same patients or published without peer-review were excluded. A narrative synthesis was employed by tabulating retrieved studies and organising chronologically by abdominal compression device type to help identify patterns in the evidence.
The inclusion criteria were met by 6 studies with a total of 152 patients. Designs were a mix of retrospective and prospective quantitative designs with chronological, non-randomised recruitment. Abdominal compression reduced craniocaudal respiratory motion in the majority of patients, although in four studies there were increases seen in at least one direction. The influence of patient comorbidities on effectiveness of compression, and /or comfort with compression was not evaluated in any study.
Abdominal compression may not be appropriate for all patients, and benefit should be weighed with potential increase in motion or discomfort in patients with small initial motion (< 5 mm). Patient factors including male sex, and high body mass index (BMI) were found to impact the effectiveness of compression, however with limited evidence. High-quality studies are warranted to fully assess the clinical impact of abdominal compression on treatment outcomes and toxicity prospective in comparison to other motion management strategies.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Apr 2022