Assessment of X-ray computed tomography dose in normoxic polyacrylamide gel dosimetry




Baxter, Patricia

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Polymer gel dosimetry, in conjunction with x-ray computed tomography (x-ray CT) imaging, is a three-dimensional dosimetric tool that shows promise in the verification of complex radiation therapy treatments. Previous studies have shown that x-ray CT imaging of gel dosimeters is robust, easy-to-use, and has wide clinical accessibility. The effects of x-ray CT dose imparted to the gel dosimeter, during imaging of the delivered therapy dose distributions, is not well understood. This thesis quantifies the effects of CT dose on normoxic polyacrylamide gel (nPAG) dosimeters. The investigation is comprised of four parts. First, quantification of the x-ray CT dose given during CT imaging of nPAG gels was measured using ion chamber measurements and filmed dose profiles for a range of typical gel dosimetry imaging protocols (200 mAs (current-time), 120-140 kVp (peak potential energy of photons), 2-10 mm slice thickness). It was found that CT doses ranged from 0.007 Gy/slice (120 kVp, 2 mm) to 0.021 Gy/slice (140 kVp, 10 mm) for volumetric phantoms. Second, Raman spectroscopy was used to determine the effect of photon energy on the dose response of nPAG dosimeters exposed to photon energies from a CT scanner (140 kVp photons) and from a Linac (6 MV photons). A weaker response was exhibited within the gels irradiated with kV photons than MV photons. Thirdly, the measurements of the given x-ray CT dose as established in the first study and the dose response of the polymer gel to different photon energies in the second study were correlated to estimate the induced changes of the nPAG CT number ("NCT ), caused by x-ray CT imaging of the polymer gel. (CT number is defined to be the measured attenuation coefficient normalized to water.) For typical gel imaging protocols (as above with 16-32 image averages), it was found that "NCT <0.2 H is induced in active nPAG gel dosimeters. This "NCT is below the current threshold of detectability of CT nPAG gel dosimetry. Finally, the traditional method of chemically fixing the dose response mechanism of nPAG gels by passive oxygenation of the gel, is investigated to determine if oxygenation would mitigate the changes caused by x-ray CT imaging of the gels. It was determined that oxygen diffusion was too slow to cause fixation of nPAG dosimeters, as the diffusion constant was 1.2 ± 0.2 × 10−6cm2/s, or 25% of the diffusion constant for anoxic PAG gel dosimeters. In conclusion, it was found that x-ray CT dose in polymer gel dosimeters is not a concern for standard gel imaging protocols. X-ray CT dose can potentially be a concern when large numbers of image averages (e.g. >60 image averages) are utilized, as in gel imaging protocols for high-resolution scans.



gel dosimetry, x-ray computed tomography