Deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) therapy

What is it?

Deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH) therapy is a form of radiation therapy used to treat patients with breast cancer. Its primary purpose is to reduce radiation exposure to the heart. This treatment technology allows radiation to be delivered at a certain point of the patient’s breathing cycle, reducing the heart’s exposure to radiation.

What should patients expect?

Prior to DIBH therapy, patients undergo planning computed tomography (CT) scans to create their treatment plan and calculate the amount radiation dose to the heart and other organs. During the actual treatment, patients will take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. During this time, radiation will be delivered to the breast while the patient is instructed to relax. The process is repeated until all of the radiation has been delivered.

What are the side effects?

DIBH therapy may cause some side effects, including fatigue with breathing.