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Phys Med Biol. 2013 Aug 21;58(16):5477-93. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/16/5477. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Superficial dosimetry imaging of Čerenkov emission in electron beam radiotherapy of phantoms.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


Čerenkov emission is generated from ionizing radiation in tissue above 264 keV energy. This study presents the first examination of this optical emission as a surrogate for the absorbed superficial dose. Čerenkov emission was imaged from the surface of flat tissue phantoms irradiated with electrons, using a range of field sizes from 6 cm × 6 cm to 20 cm × 20 cm, incident angles from 0° to 50°, and energies from 6 to 18 MeV. The Čerenkov images were compared with the estimated superficial dose in phantoms from direct diode measurements, as well as calculations by Monte Carlo and the treatment planning system. Intensity images showed outstanding linear agreement (R(2) = 0.97) with reference data of the known dose for energies from 6 to 18 MeV. When orthogonal delivery was carried out, the in-plane and cross-plane dose distribution comparisons indicated very little difference (± 2-4% differences) between the different methods of estimation as compared to Čerenkov light imaging. For an incident angle 50°, the Čerenkov images and Monte Carlo simulation show excellent agreement with the diode data, but the treatment planning system had a larger error (OPT = ± 1~2%, diode = ± 2~3%, TPS = ± 6-8% differences) as would be expected. The sampling depth of superficial dosimetry based on Čerenkov radiation has been simulated in a layered skin model, showing the potential of sampling depth tuning by spectral filtering. Taken together, these measurements and simulations indicate that Čerenkov emission imaging might provide a valuable method of superficial dosimetry imaging from incident radiotherapy beams of electrons.

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