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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Apr 1;82(5):1680-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.01.062. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Kilovoltage imaging doses in the radiotherapy of pediatric cancer patients.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.



To investigate doses induced by kilovoltage cone-beam computed tomography (kVCBCT) to pediatric cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, as well as strategies for dose reduction.


An EGS4 Monte Carlo code was used to calculate three-dimensional dose deposition due to kVCBCT on 4 pediatric cancer patients. Absorbed doses to various organs were analyzed for both half-fan and full-fan modes. Clinical conditions, such as distance from organ at risk (OAR) to CBCT field border, kV peak energy, and testicular shielding, were studied.


The mean doses induced by one CBCT scan operated at 125 kV in half-fan mode to testes, liver, kidneys, femoral heads, spinal cord, brain, eyes, lens, and optical nerves were 2.9, 4.7, 7.7, 10.5, 8.8, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8, and 7.2 cGy, respectively. Increasing the distances from OARs to CBCT field border greatly reduced the doses to OARs, ranging from 33% reduction for spinal cord to 2300% reduction for testes. As photon beam energy increased from 60 to 125 kV, the dose increase due to kVCBCT ranged from 170% for lens to 460% for brain and spinal cord. A testicular shielding made of 1-cm cerrobend could reduce CBCT doses down to 31%, 51%, 68%, and 82%, respectively, for 60, 80, 100, and 125 kV when the testes lay within the CBCT field.


Generally speaking, kVCBCT deposits much larger doses to critical structures in children than in adults, usually by a factor of 2 to 3. Increasing the distances from OARs to CBCT field border greatly reduces doses to OARs. Depending on OARs, kVCBCT-induced doses increase linearly or exponentially with photon beam energy. Testicular shielding works more efficiently at lower kV energies. On the basis of our study, it is essential to choose an appropriate scanning protocol when kVCBCT is applied to pediatric cancer patients routinely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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