Characteristics of x-ray beams in two commercial multidetector computed tomography simulators: Monte Carlo simulations.
PURPOSE: As multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scanning is routinely performed for treatment planning in radiation oncology, understanding the characteristics of the MDCT x-ray beam is essential to accurately estimate patient dose. The purpose of this study is to characterize the x-ray beams of two commercial MDCT simulators widely used in radiation oncology by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. METHODS: X-ray tube systems of two wide bore MDCT scanners (GE LightSpeed RT 4 and Philips Brilliance Big Bore) were modeled in the BEAMNRC/EGSNRC MC system. All the tube components were modeled from targets to bowtie filters. To validate our MC models, the authors measured half-value layers (HVL) using aluminum sheets and multifunctional radiation detectors and compared them to those obtained from MC simulations for 120 kVp beams. The authors also compared x-ray spectra obtained from MC simulation to the data provided by manufacturers. Additionally, lateral/axial beam profiles were measured in-air using radiochromic films and compared to the MC results. To understand the scatter effect, the authors also derived the scatter-to-primary energy fluence ratio (SPR) profiles and calculated the total SPR for each CT system with the CT dose index (CTDI) head and body phantoms using the BEAMNRC system. RESULTS: The authors found that the HVL, x-ray spectrum and beam profiles of the MC simulations agreed well with the manufacturer-specified data within 1%-10% on average for both scanners. The total SPR were ranged from 7.8 to 13.7% for the head phantom and from 10.7 to 18.9% for the body phantom. CONCLUSIONS: The authors demonstrate the full MC simulations of two commercial MDCT simulators to characterize their x-ray beams. This study may be useful to establish a patient-specific dosimetry for the MDCT systems.
Kim, S; Song, H; Movsas, B; Chetty, IJ
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