Journal of Medical Physics
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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2011| January-March  | Volume 36 | Issue 1  
    Online since January 12, 2011

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Small field dose delivery evaluations using cone beam optical computed tomography-based polymer gel dosimetry
Timothy Olding, Oliver Holmes, Paul DeJean, Kim B McAuley, Ken Nkongchu, Giles Santyr, L John Schreiner
January-March 2011, 36(1):3-14
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75466  PMID:21430853
This paper explores the combination of cone beam optical computed tomography with an N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM)-based polymer gel dosimeter for three-dimensional dose imaging of small field deliveries. Initial investigations indicate that cone beam optical imaging of polymer gels is complicated by scattered stray light perturbation. This can lead to significant dosimetry failures in comparison to dose readout by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For example, only 60% of the voxels from an optical CT dose readout of a 1 l dosimeter passed a two-dimensional Low's gamma test (at a 3%, 3 mm criteria, relative to a treatment plan for a well-characterized pencil beam delivery). When the same dosimeter was probed by MRI, a 93% pass rate was observed. The optical dose measurement was improved after modifications to the dosimeter preparation, matching its performance with the imaging capabilities of the scanner. With the new dosimeter preparation, 99.7% of the optical CT voxels passed a Low's gamma test at the 3%, 3 mm criteria and 92.7% at a 2%, 2 mm criteria. The fitted interjar dose responses of a small sample set of modified dosimeters prepared (a) from the same gel batch and (b) from different gel batches prepared on the same day were found to be in agreement to within 3.6% and 3.8%, respectively, over the full dose range. Without drawing any statistical conclusions, this experiment gives a preliminary indication that intrabatch or interbatch NIPAM dosimeters prepared on the same day should be suitable for dose sensitivity calibration.
  16 5,444 185
Influence of photon energy on the quality of prostate intensity modulated radiation therapy plans based on analysis of physical indices
Sundaram Thangavelu, S Jayakumar, KN Govindarajan, Sanjay S Supe, V Nagarajan, M Nagarajan
January-March 2011, 36(1):29-34
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75469  PMID:21430856
The goal of the present study was to study the effects of low- and high-energy intensity-modulated photon beams on the planning of target volume and the critical organs in cases of localized prostate tumors in a cohort of 8 patients. To ensure that the difference between the plans is due to energy alone, all other parameters were kept constant. A mean dose volume histogram (DVH) for each value of energy and for each contoured structure was created and was considered as completely representative for all patients. To facilitate comparison between 6-MV and 15-MV beams, the DVH-s were normalized. The different parameters that were compared for 6-MV and 15-MV beams included mean DVH, different homogeneity indices, conformity index, etc. Analysis of several indices depicts more homogeneous dose for 15-MV beam and more conformity for 6-MV beam. Comparison of all these parameters showed that there was little difference between the 6-MV and 15-MV beams. For rectum, 2 to 4 % more volume received high dose with the 6-MV beam in comparison with the 15-MV beam, which was not clinically significant, since in practice much tighter constraints are maintained, such that Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) is kept within 5 %. Such tighter constraints might increase the dose to other regions and other critical organs but are unlikely to increase their complication probabilities. Hence the slight advantages of 15-MV beam in providing benefits of better normal-tissue sparing and better coverage cannot be considered to outweigh its well-known risk of non-negligible neutron production.
  4 3,222 165
Dosimetric evaluation of a three-dimensional treatment planning system
Appasamy Murugan, Xavier Sidonia Valas, Kuppusamy Thayalan, Velayudham Ramasubramanian
January-March 2011, 36(1):15-21
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75467  PMID:21430854
The computerized treatment planning system plays a major role in radiation therapy in delivering correct radiation dose to the patients within ±5% as recommended by the ICRU. To evaluate the dosimetric performance of the Treatment Planning system (TPS) with three-dimensional dose calculation algorithm using the basic beam data measured for 6 MV X-rays. Eleven numbers of test cases were created according to the Technical Report Series-430 (TRS 430) and are used to evaluate the TPS in a homogeneous water phantom. These cases involve simple field arrangements as well as the presence of a low-density material in the beam to resemble an air in-homogeneity. Absolute dose measurements were performed for the each case with the MU calculation given by the TPS, and the measured dose is compared with the corresponding TPS calculated dose values. The result yields a percentage difference maximum of 2.38% for all simple test cases. For complex test cases in the presence of in-homogeneity, beam modifiers or beam modifiers with asymmetric fields a maximum percentage difference of 5.94% was observed. This study ensures that the dosimetric calculations performed by the TPS are within the accuracy of ±5% which is very much warranted in patient dose delivery. The test procedures are simple, not only during the installation of TPS, but also repeated at periodic intervals.
  1 3,462 271
Radiation safety concerns and diagnostic reference levels for computed tomography scanners in Tamil Nadu
Roshan S Livingstone, Paul M Dinakaran
January-March 2011, 36(1):40-45
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75471  PMID:21430858
Radiation safety in computed tomography (CT) scanners is of concern due its widespread use in the field of radiological imaging. This study intends to evaluate radiation doses imparted to patients undergoing thorax, abdomen and pelvic CT examinations and formulate regional diagnostic reference levels (DRL) in Tamil Nadu, South India. In-site CT dose measurement was performed in 127 CT scanners in Tamil Nadu for a period of 2 years as a part of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)-funded project. Out of the 127 CT scanners,13 were conventional; 53 single-slice helical scanners (SSHS); 44 multislice CT (MSCT) scanners; and 17 refurbished scanners. CT dose index (CTDI) was measured using a 32-cm polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)-body phantom in each CT scanner. Dose length product (DLP) for different anatomical regions was generated using CTDI values. The regional DRLs for thorax, abdomen and pelvis examinations were 557, 521 and 294 mGy cm, respectively. The mean effective dose was estimated using the DLP values and was found to be 8.04, 6.69 and 4.79 mSv for thorax, abdomen and pelvic CT examinations, respectively. The establishment of DRLs in this study is the first step towards optimization of CT doses in the Indian context.
  1 4,128 187
Development of departmental standard for traceability of measured activity for I-131 therapy capsules used in nuclear medicine
Ramamoorthy Ravichandran, JP Binukumar
January-March 2011, 36(1):46-50
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75472  PMID:21430859
International Basic Safety Standards (International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA) provide guidance levels for diagnostic procedures in nuclear medicine indicating the maximum usual activity for various diagnostic tests in terms of activities of injected radioactive formulations. An accuracy of ± 10% in the activities of administered radio-pharmaceuticals is being recommended, for expected outcome in diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine procedures. It is recommended that the long-term stability of isotope calibrators used in nuclear medicine is to be checked periodically for their performance using a long-lived check source, such as Cs-137, of suitable activity. In view of the un-availability of such a radioactive source, we tried to develop methods to maintain traceability of these instruments, for certifying measured activities for human use. Two re-entrant chambers [(HDR 1000 and Selectron Source Dosimetry System (SSDS)] with I-125 and Ir-192 calibration factors in the Department of Radiotherapy were used to measure Iodine-131 (I-131) therapy capsules to establish traceability to Mark V isotope calibrator of the Department of Nuclear Medicine. Special nylon jigs were fabricated to keep I-131 capsule holder in position. Measured activities in all the chambers showed good agreement. The accuracy of SSDS chamber in measuring Ir-192 activities in the last 5 years was within 0.5%, validating its role as departmental standard for measuring activity. The above method is adopted because mean energies of I-131 and Ir-192 are comparable.
  1 4,018 107

January-March 2011, 36(1):53-53
  - 1,306 76
Journal of Medical Physics marches on
AS Pradhan
January-March 2011, 36(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75465  PMID:21430852
  - 2,779 154
News and Events
T Ganesh
January-March 2011, 36(1):51-52
  - 1,812 91
To study tumor motion and planning target volume margins using four dimensional computed tomography for cancer of the thorax and abdomen regions
Sudesh Deshpande
January-March 2011, 36(1):35-39
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75470  PMID:21430857
In this study, four dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) scanning was performed during free breathing on a 16-slice Positron emission tomography PET /computed tomography (CT) for abdomen and thoracic patients. Images were sorted into 10 phases based on the temporal correlation between surface motion and data acquisition with an Advantage Workstation. Gross tumor volume gross tumor volume (GTV) s were manually contoured on all 10 phases of the 4DCT scan. GTVs in the multiple CT phases were called GTV4D. GTV4D plus an isotropic margin of 1.0 cm was called CTV4D. Two sets of planning target volume (PTV) 4D (PTV4D) were derived from the CTV4D, i.e. PTV4D 2cm = CTV4D plus 1 cm setup margin (SM) and 1 cm internal margin (IM) and PTV4D 1.5cm = CTV4D plus 1 cm SM and 0.5cm IM. PTV3D was derived from a CTV3D of the helical CT scan plus conventional margins of 2 cm. PTV gated was generated only selecting three CT phases, with a total margin of 1.5 cm. All four volumes were compared. To quantify the extent of the motion, we selected the two phases where the tumor exhibited the greatest range of motion. We also studied the effect of different PTV volumes on dose to the surrounding critical structures. Volume of CTV4D was greater than that of CTV3D. We found, on an average, a reduction of 14% volume of PTV4D 1.5cm as compared with PTV3D and reduction of 10% volume of PTV gated as compared with PTV4D 1.5cm . We found that 2 cm of margin was inadequate if true motion of tumor was not known. We observed greater sparing of critical structures for PTVs drawn taking into account the tumor motion.
  - 2,552 166
Initial quality performance results using a phantom to simulate chest computed radiography
Wilbroad Muhogora, Renato Padovani, Peter Msaki
January-March 2011, 36(1):22-28
DOI:10.4103/0971-6203.75468  PMID:21430855
The aim of this study was to develop a homemade phantom for quantitative quality control in chest computed radiography (CR). The phantom was constructed from copper, aluminium, and polymenthylmethacrylate (PMMA) plates as well as Styrofoam materials. Depending on combinations, the literature suggests that these materials can simulate the attenuation and scattering characteristics of lung, heart, and mediastinum. The lung, heart, and mediastinum regions were simulated by 10 mm x 10 mm x 0.5 mm, 10 mm x 10 mm x 0.5 mm and 10 mm x 10 mm x 1 mm copper plates, respectively. A test object of 100 mm x 100 mm and 0.2 mm thick copper was positioned to each region for CNR measurements. The phantom was exposed to x-rays generated by different tube potentials that covered settings in clinical use: 110-120 kVp (HVL=4.26-4.66 mm Al) at a source image distance (SID) of 180 cm. An approach similar to the recommended method in digital mammography was applied to determine the CNR values of phantom images produced by a Kodak CR 850A system with post-processing turned off. Subjective contrast-detail studies were also carried out by using images of Leeds TOR CDR test object acquired under similar exposure conditions as during CNR measurements. For clinical kVp conditions relevant to chest radiography, the CNR was highest over 90-100 kVp range. The CNR data correlated with the results of contrast detail observations. The values of clinical tube potentials at which CNR is the highest are regarded to be optimal kVp settings. The simplicity in phantom construction can offer easy implementation of related quality control program.
  - 5,275 95
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