We investigated the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) of the incidence of pericardial effusion (PCE) based on the mean heart dose (MHD) in patients with oesophageal cancer treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy. The incidences of PCE in any grade (A-PCE) and symptomatic PCE (S-PCE) were evaluated separately. To identify predictors for PCE, several clinical and dose-volume parameters were analysed using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and multivariate regression analysis. To validate its clinical applicability, the generated NTCP model was compared to the Lyman–Kutcher–Burman (LKB) model. Among 229 eligible patients, A-PCE and S-PCE were observed in 100 (43.7%) and 18 (7.9%) patients, respectively. MHD showed a preferable area under the curve (AUC) value for S-PCE (AUC = 0.821) and A-PCE (AUC = 0.734). MHD was the only significant predictor for A-PCE; MHD and hypertension were selected as significant factors for S-PCE. The estimated NTCP, using the MHD-based model, showed excellent correspondence to the LKB model in A-PCE and S-PCE. The NTCP curve of A-PCE was gentler than that of S-PCE and had no threshold. The MHD-based NTCP model was simple but comparable to the LKB model for both A-PCE and S-PCE. Therefore, the estimated NTCP may provide clinically useful parameters for predicting PCE.
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