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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2006;120(1-4):78-82. Epub 2006 May 30.

Absorbed dose measurements of a handheld 50 kVP X-ray source in water with thermoluminescence dosemeters.

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  • 1National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.


Absorbed dose rate measurements of a 50 kV(p) handheld X-ray probe source in a water phantom are described. The X-ray generator is capable of currents of up to 40 microA, and is designed for cranial brachytherapy and intraoperative applications with applicators. The measurements were performed in a computer-controlled water phantom in which both the source and the detectors are mounted. Two different LiF thermoluminescence dosemeter (TLD) phosphors were employed for the measurements, MTS-N (LiF:Mg,Ti) and MCP-N (LiF:Mg,Cu,P). Two small ionisation chambers (0.02 and 0.0053 cm(3)) were also employed. The TLDs and chambers were positioned in watertight mounts made of water-equivalent plastic. The chambers were calibrated in terms of air-kerma rate, and conventional protocols were used to convert the measurements to absorbed dose rate. The TLDs were calibrated at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in terms of absorbed dose rate using a (60)Co teletherapy beam and narrow-spectrum X-ray beams. For the latter, absorbed dose was inferred from air-kerma rate using calculated air-kerma-to-dose conversion factors. The reference points of the various detectors were taken as the center of the TLD volumes and the entrance windows of the ionisation chambers. Measurements were made at distances of 3-45 mm from the detector reference point to the source center. In addition, energy dependence of response measurements of the TLDs used was made using NIST reference narrow spectrum X-ray beams. Measurement results showed reasonable agreement in absorbed dose rate determined from the energy dependence corrected TLD readings and from the ionisation chambers. Volume averaging effects of the TLDs at very close distances to the source were also evident.

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