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Med Phys. 1999 Dec;26(12):2550-4.

Distance-dose curve for a miniature x-ray tube for stereotactic radiosurgery using an optimized aperture with a parallel-plate ionization chamber.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.


A recently developed miniature x-ray tube operating at 40 kV has been used in a randomized trial for the treatment of small intracranial lesions. The diameter of these lesions ranges from 10 to 30 mm. A thin window parallel-plate ionization chamber was used to calibrate the output of the x-ray tube, modified by the addition of a thin platinum aperture to reduce the charge collecting area of the chamber. The effect of such an aperture on the measurement of dose versus distance from the x-ray tube in a phantom has been examined as a function of aperture diameter. Aperture diameters were varied between 0 and 5 mm and dose measurements were made for distances between the x-ray source and the front surface of the chamber of 5-30 mm in water. The ratio of doses measured with and without an aperture, when normalized to unity at a distance of 10 mm, differs significantly from unity, for distances between 7.5 and 15 mm, for aperture diameters <1.5 mm and differs from unity, but less significantly, for apertures > or =3 mm. For intermediate diameters, however, this dose dependence is minimized, indicating an aperture diameter that provides a similar distance-dose curve as the measurement taken without an aperture over this range of distances. This diameter was found to be between 2 and 2.5 mm with a dose variation of less than +/- 1%. For distances <7.5 mm, measurements made with a 1.5-mm-diam aperture agree better with those taken with a 1.7-mm-diam chamber compared with a 5.2-mm-diam chamber.

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