Measurement and calculation of heterogeneity correction factors for an Ir- 192 high dose-rate brachytherapy source behind tungsten alloy and steel shields

A. S. Kirov, J. F. Williamson, A. S. Meigooni, Y. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Shields made of high atomic number material are commonly used in vaginal applicators with high dose-rate (HDR) 192Ir remotely afterloaded brachytherapy sources. However little data is available for the dose distribution around such shields. Heterogeneity correction factors (HCFs) are defined as the ratio of the dose to a point with the heterogeneity (shield) in place, divided by the dose to the same point with no heterogeneity. Using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) in solid water phantom we have measured the HCFs behind 6 and 20 mm diam tungsten alloy disks, 4 and 2 mm thick and a 4 mm thick steel disk, positioned 15 mm from the source. For each measurement point, the heterogeneity correction factors were also inferred from Monte Carlo simulations, which accurately modeled the experimental geometry. The agreement between measured and calculated HCFs on the average was within 6%. Tungsten alloy disks resulted in about two times greater dose reduction in water (HCF≃0.4, for 20x4 mm disk) than for a steel disk with the same dimensions (HCF≃0.85). Reducing the disk diameter to 6 mm increased the dose transmission up to about 25%. Increasing the source-to-detector distance from 4 to 7 cm caused a change in HCF from 2% to more than 20%, depending on disk material and diameter. The detector artifact effects arising from the finite size and different composition of the TLD chips were determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-919
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Keywords

  • HDR
  • Ir
  • Monte Carlo
  • TLD
  • detector artifacts
  • heterogeneity corrections

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