Automated multi-parameter high-dose-rate brachytherapy quality assurance via radioluminescence imaging

Phys Med Biol. 2020 Nov 17;65(22):225005. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/abb570.


The purpose of this study is to leverage radioluminescence imaging for the development of an automated high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy quality assurance (QA) system that enables simultaneous measurements of dwell position, dwell time, wire velocity, and relative source strength in a single test. The system consists of a radioluminescence phosphor sheet (a mixture of Gd2O2S:Tb and PDMS) positioned atop a HDR needle applicator, a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor digital camera used to capture the emitted radioluminescence signals from the scintillator sheet, and an in-house graphical user interface for signal processing. The signal processing was used to extract source intensity, location, and elapsed time, yielding the final measurements on dwell position, dwell time, and wire velocity. The source strength relative to the well chamber calibration (in unit of Air-Kerma strength, Sk ) is measured by establishing a calibration curve that correlates Sk with the detector response. Validation experiments are performed using three customized treatment plans. With these plans, the dwell position and dwell time are verified for a range of 110.0 cm-117.5 cm and 2 s-16 s, respectively, and the linear correlation with Sk is demonstrated for the source strength varying between 28 348 U (cGy cm2 h-1) and 41 906 U. The wire velocity, i.e. the speed of the radioactive source averaged over the distance in between dwell positions, is calculated for various distances ranging from 5 mm to 50 mm. Results show that the mean deviations of the measured dwell position and dwell time are 0.1 mm (range from 0 to 0.2 mm) and 32.5 ms (range from 0 to 60.0 ms) with respect to the planned values, respectively, and the system response is highly linear with Sk ( R2 = 0.998). Moreover, the measured wire velocities are comparable to previously reported values. Benefitting from the compact hardware design and image processing algorithms, the system provides a practical, reliable, and comprehensive solution for HDR QA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Automation
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Calibration
  • Humans
  • Optical Imaging*
  • Quality Control
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods*