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Measurement of CT Dose to An HDPE Phantom Using Calorimetry: A Feasibility Study

H Chen-Mayer

H Chen-Mayer*, R Tosh, F Bateman, B Zimmerman, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

SU-E-I-45 Sunday 3:00:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Radiation dose in CT is traditionally evaluated using an ionization chamber calibrated in terms of air kerma in a phantom of specific dimensions. The radiation absorbed dose, J/kg, can also be realized directly by measuring the temperature rise in the medium. We investigate using this primary method to determine the CT dose at a point (a few mm), using the recently proposed (APMM TG220) high density polyethylene (HDPE) phantom as a medium.
The calorimeter detection scheme is adapted from the second generation NIST water calorimeter using sensitive thermistors in a Wheatstone bridge powered by a lock-in amplifier. The temperature sensitivity is about 3 microK. The expected temperature rise in PE is about 0.6 mK per Gy. The thermistor sensors were placed inside a 26 cm dia. X 10 cm HDPE phantom. Two preliminary tests were made: at a linear accelerator with a 6 MV photon beam, and at a 16-slice CT scanner with a 120 kV beam, each with the thermal sensor and with a calibrated ionization chamber.
The 6 MV photon beam with 10 on/off cycles at 60 s each yielded the (uncorrected) run-to-run average dose of 3.06 Gy per cycle (sdm 0.3%), about 8% higher than the result from the ionization chamber (calibrated in terms of absorbed to water). The CT measurements were also made in the middle section of the TG200 30 cm phantom. Twenty consecutive axial scans at 250 mA, which delivers a nominal accumulated dose (CTDIvol) of 705 mGy in 50 s at three axial and three radial locations were measured. The accumulated dose measured by the ionization chamber at the center of the smaller phantom was 347 mGy.
The calorimeter data show qualitative tracking of the chamber measurements. Detailed thermal and electrical analysis of the system are planned to obtain quantitative results.

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