Air kerma based dosimetry calibration for the Leksell Gamma Knife.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

No accepted official protocol exists for the dosimetry of the Leksell Gamma Knife (GK) stereotactic radiosurgery device. Establishment of a dosimetry protocol has been complicated by the unique partial-hemisphere arrangement of 201 individual 60Co beams simultaneously focused on the treatment volume and by the rigid geometry of the GK unit itself. This article proposes an air kerma based dosimetry protocol using either an in-air or in-acrylic phantom measurement to determine the absorbed dose rate of fields of the 18 mm helmet of a GK unit. A small-volume air ionization chamber was used to make measurements at the physical isocenter of three GK units. The absorbed dose rate to water was determined using a modified version of the AAPM Task Group 21 protocol designed for use with 60Co-based teletherapy machines. This experimentally determined absorbed dose rate was compared to the treatment planning system (TPS) absorbed dose rate. The TPS used with the GK unit is Leksell GammaPlan. The TPS absorbed dose rate at the time of treatment is the absorbed dose rate determined by the physicist at the time of machine commissioning decay corrected to the treatment date. The TPS absorbed dose rate is defined as absorbed dose rate to water at the isocenter of a water phantom with a radius of 8 cm. Measurements were performed on model B and C Gamma Knife units. The absorbed dose rate to water for the 18 mm helmet determined using air-kerma based calculations is consistently between 1.5% and 2.9% higher than the absorbed dose rate provided by the TPS. These air kerma based measurements allow GK dosimetry to be performed with an established dosimetry protocol and without complications arising from the use of and possible variations in solid phantom material. Measurements were also made with the same ionization chamber in a spherical acrylic phantom for comparison. This methodology will allow further development of calibration methods appropriate for the smaller fields of GK units to be compared to a well established standard.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Meltsner, SG; DeWerd, LA

Published Date

  • February 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 339 - 350

PubMed ID

  • 19291973

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-2405

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1118/1.3049587


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States