Evaluation of radiation dose and image quality for the Varian cone beam computed tomography system

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 May 1;80(1):291-300. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.06.014.


Purpose: To compare the image quality and dosimetry on the Varian cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) system between software Version 1.4.13 and Version 1.4.11 (referred to as "new" and "old" protocols, respectively, in the following text). This study investigated organ absorbed dose, total effective dose, and image quality of the CBCT system for the head-and-neck and pelvic regions.

Methods and materials: A calibrated Farmer chamber and two standard cylindrical Perspex CT dosimetry phantoms with diameter of 16 cm (head phantom) and 32 cm (body phantom) were used to measure the weighted cone-beam computed tomography dose index (CBCTDIw) of the Varian CBCT system. The absorbed dose of different organs was measured in a female anthropomorphic phantom with thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) and the total effective dose was estimated according to International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 103. The dose measurement and image quality were studied for head-and-neck and pelvic regions, and comparison was made between the new and old protocols.

Results: The values of the new CBCTDIw head-and-neck and pelvic protocols were 36.6 and 29.4 mGy, respectively. The total effective doses from the new head-and-neck and pelvic protocols were 1.7 and 8.2 mSv, respectively. The absorbed doses of lens for the new 200° and old 360° head-and-neck protocols were 3.8 and 59.4 mGy, respectively. The additional secondary cancer risk from daily CBCT might be up to 2.8%.

Conclusions: The new Varian CBCT provided volumetric information for image guidance with acceptable image quality and lower radiation dose. This imaging tool gave a better standard for patient daily setup verification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / methods*
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / standards
  • Female
  • Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Radiotherapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Software Validation*
  • Thermoluminescent Dosimetry / instrumentation
  • Thermoluminescent Dosimetry / methods