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Title: Longitudinal dose distribution and energy absorption in PMMA and water cylinders undergoing CT scans

Purpose: The knowledge of longitudinal dose distribution provides the most direct view of the accumulated dose in computed tomography (CT) scanning. The purpose of this work was to perform a comprehensive study of dose distribution width and energy absorption with a wide range of subject sizes and beam irradiated lengths. Methods: Cumulative dose distribution along the z-axis was calculated based on the previously published CT dose equilibration data by Li, Zhang, and Liu [Med. Phys. 40, 031903 (10pp.) (2013)] and a mechanism for computing dose on axial lines by Li, Zhang, and Liu [Med. Phys. 39, 5347–5352 (2012)]. Full width at half maximum (FWHM), full width at tenth maximum (FWTM), the total energy (E) absorbed in a small cylinder of unit mass per centimeter square about the central or peripheral axis, and the energy (E{sub in}) absorbed inside irradiated length (L) were subsequently extracted from the dose distribution. Results: Extensive results of FWHM, FWTM, and E{sub in}/E were presented on the central and peripheral axes of infinitely long PMMA (diameters 6–50 cm) and water (diameters 6–55 cm) cylinders with L < 100 cm. FWHM was greater than the primary beam width only on the central axes of large phantoms andmore » also with L ranging from a few centimeter to about 33 cm. FWTM generally increased with phantom diameter, and could be up to 32 cm longer than irradiated length, depending on L, phantom diameter and axis, but was insensitive to phantom material (PMMA or water). E{sub in}/E increased with L and asymptotically approached unity for large L. As phantom diameter increased, E{sub in}/E generally decreased, but asymptotically approached constant levels on the peripheral axes of large phantoms. A heuristic explanation of dose distribution width results was presented. Conclusions: This study enables the reader to gain a comprehensive view of dose distribution width and energy absorption and provides useful data for estimating doses to organs inside or beyond the irradiated region. The dose length product (DLP) presented by CT scanners is equal to neither E nor E{sub in}. Both E and E{sub in} can be evaluated using the equations and results presented in this paper and are robust with both constant and variable tube current scanning techniques.« less
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  1. Division of Diagnostic Imaging Physics and Webster Center for Advanced Research and Education in Radiation, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States