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Cardiovasc Radiat Med. 2004 Apr-Jun;5(2):88-96.

Effects of off-centering on dose uniformity along and around blood vessels undergoing catheter-based intravascular brachytherapy.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 208040, New Haven, CT 06520-8040, USA.



In intravascular brachytherapy, either photon or beta emitters are often used in a linear arrangement so that blood vessels of lengths in the range of several centimeters can be treated. With a line source, the dose uniformity and the range of doses that various components of the blood vessels receive depend not only on the type of radionuclides used in the treatment but also on the geometric position of radioactive source relative to the blood vessel walls. The aim of this study is to investigate the dose uniformity around the blood vessel and the effects on the uniformity due to the changes of the off-centering of different photon and beta emitters within the lumen.


Dose distributions were calculated on a cylindrical blood vessel of various radii. The radioactive sources of (192)Ir, (125)I, (103)Pd, (188)Re, (32)P, and (90)Y/Sr were studied. All the sources were assumed to be in the form of a line and had a length of 2 cm. The dose rate at a point in space produced by a radioactive source was computed by integrating the point dose rate kernel of the corresponding radionuclide over the 2-cm-long radioactive line. The point dose rate kernel was computed with Monte Carlo simulation of radiation transport. Dosimetric calculations were performed for both concentric and nonconcentric radioactive line source locations. Off-centering effects on the dosimetry were characterized with two newly defined quantities LDU and ADU: LDU describes the longitudinal dose uniformity along blood vessels and ADU describes the azimuthal dose uniformity, i.e., the dose deviation from the expected delivery dose around blood vessels.


The longitudinal dose uniformity did not change significantly with the off-center distance. The azimuthal dose uniformity around the blood vessel deteriorated as the off-center distance increased. The ADU was worse for nonconcentric beta emitters than the photon emitters. For example, if the off-center distance was 1 mm and the radial distance was 1.5 mm, the range of dose around the blood vessel on the central transverse plane (normalized to the corresponding dose under the concentric condition) was from 0.55 to 3.3, 0.56 to 3.3, 0.53 to 3.4, 0.43 to 6.0, 0.38 to 4.3, and 0.31 to 4.7 for (192)Ir, (125)I, (103)Pd, (90)Y/Sr, (188)Re, and (32)P sources, respectively. However, it appeared that there existed a lower limit of underdosing (about 40% of desired delivery dose) caused by the off-centering for the photon emitters. It was also found that both ADU and LDU became almost independent of source length when the length was longer than or equal to 20 mm.


A generalized formalism for expressing the dose uniformity along and around blood vessels generated with a linear source was developed and used to study the longitudinal and azimuthal dose uniformity for different types of radionuclides. Although concentric beta emitters provide uniform dose coverage along blood vessels, nonconcentric beta emitters produced larger dose deviations and worse dose uniformity around the blood vessels than photon emitters. The off-centering introduced significantly higher dose on proximal vessel walls for both beta and photon emitters; however, the underdosing at distal points due to off-centering was somewhat limited for the high-energy photon emitters. The magnitude of off-centering effects for the low-energy photon emitters ((103)Pd) was less than that for beta emitters but more than that for higher energy photon emitters ((125)I and (192)Ir).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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