Evaluation of a model-based treatment planning system for dose computations in the kilovoltage energy range

Parham Alaei, Bruce J. Gerbi, Richard A. Geise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The ability to determine dose distribution and calculate organ doses from diagnostic x rays has become increasingly important in recent years because of relatively high doses in interventional radiology and cardiology procedures. In an attempt to determine the dose from both diagnostic and orthovoltage x rays, we have used a commercial treatment planning system (Pinnacle, ADAC Laboratories, Milpitas, CA) to calculate the doses in phantoms from kilovoltage x rays. The planning system's capabilities for dose computation have been extended to lower energies by the addition of energy deposition kernels in the 20-110 keV range and modeling of the 60, 80, 100, and 120 kVp beams using the system. We compared the dose calculated by the system with that measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) placed in various positions within several phantoms. The phantoms consisted of a cubical solid water phantom, the solid water phantom with added lung and bone inhomogeneities, and the Rando anthropomorphic phantom. Using Pinnacle, a treatment plan was generated using CT scans of each of these phantoms and point doses at the positions of TLD chips were calculated. Comparisons of measured and computed values show an average difference of less than 2% within materials of atomic number less than and equal to that of water. The algorithm, however, does not produce accurate results in and around bone inhomogeneities and underestimates attenuation of x rays by bone by an average of 145%. A modification to the CT number-to-density conversion table used by the system resulted in significant improvements in the dose calculated to points beyond bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2821-2826
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000


  • Diagnostic x rays
  • TLD
  • Treatment planning

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