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Med Phys. 2011 Mar;38(3):1473-80.

Radiation dose assessment in a 320-detector-row CT scanner used in cardiac imaging.

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  • 1Servei de Radiofísica i Radioprotecció, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167, 08025 Barcelona, Spain. carles.goma@gmail.com

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In the present era of cone-beam CT scanners, the use of the standardized CTDI100 as a surrogate of the idealized CTDI is strongly discouraged and, consequently, so should be the use of the dose-length product (DLP) as an estimate of the total energy imparted to the patient. However, the DLP is still widely used as a reference quantity to normalize the effective dose for a given scan protocol mainly because the CTDI100 is an easy-to-measure quantity. The aim of this article is therefore to describe a method for radiation dose assessment in large cone-beam single axial scans, which leads to a straightforward estimation of the total energy imparted to the patient. The authors developed a method accessible to all medical physicists and easy to implement in clinical practice in an attempt to update the bridge between CT dosimetry and the estimation of the effective dose.

METHODS:

The authors used commercially available material and a simple mathematical model. The method described herein is based on the dosimetry paradigm introduced by the AAPM Task Group 111. It consists of measuring the dose profiles at the center and the periphery of a long body phantom with a commercial solid-state detector. A weighted dose profile is then calculated from these measurements. To calculate the CT dosimetric quantities analytically, a Gaussian function was fitted to the dose profile data. Furthermore, the Gaussian model has the power to condense the z-axis information of the dose profile in two parameters: The single-scan central dose, f(0), and the width of the profile, sigma. To check the energy dependence of the solid-state detector, the authors compared the dose profiles to measurements made with a small volume ion chamber. To validate the overall method, the authors compared the CTDI100 calculated analytically to the measurement made with a 100 mm pencil ion chamber.

RESULTS:

For the central and weighted dose profiles, the authors found a good agreement between the measured dose profile data and the fitted Gaussian functions. The solid-state detector had no energy dependence--within the energy range of interest--and the analytical model succeeded in reproducing the absolute dose values obtained with the pencil ion chamber. For the case of large cone-beam single axial scans, the quantity that better characterizes the total energy imparted to the patient is the weighted dose profile integral (DPI(w)). The DPI(w) can be easily determined from the two parameters that define the Gaussian functions: f(0) and sigma. The authors found that the DLP underestimated the total energy imparted to the patient by more than 20%. The authors also found that the calculated CT dosimetric quantities were higher than those displayed on the scanner console.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors described and validated a method to assess radiation dose in large cone-beam single axial scans. This method offers a simple and more accurate estimation of the total energy imparted to the patient, thus offering the possibility to update the bridge between CT dosimetry and the estimation of the effective dose for cone-beam CT examinations in radiology, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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