High resolution gel-dosimetry by optical-CT and MR scanning

M. Oldham, J. H. Siewerdsen, A. Shetty, D. A. Jaffray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increased intricacy of Intensity-Modulated-Radiation-Therapy (IMRT) delivery has created the need for a high-resolution 3D-dosimetry (three-dimensional) system capable of measuring and verifying the complex delivery. Present clinical methods are inadequate being restricted to single points (e.g., ion-chambers) or to 2D planes (e.g., film), and are labor intensive. In this paper we show that gel-dosimetry in conjunction with optical-CT scanning can yield maps of dose that are of sufficient accuracy, resolution and precision to allow verification of complex radiosurgery deliveries, and by extension IMRT deliveries. The radiosurgery dose-distribution represents the most challenging case encountered in external beam therapy by virtue of the steep dose-gradients and high resolution of delivery. We characterize the stringent radiosurgery requirements by the RTAP (Resolution-Time-Accuracy-Precision) criteria defined as ≤ 1 mm3 spatial resolution, ≤1 hour imaging time, accurate to within 3%, and within ≤ 1% precision. The RTAP criteria is applied to an in-house laser-based optical-CT scanning system presented here, and evaluated using gel-flasks containing BANG3™ gel. The same gel flasks were subsequently imaged using the MR imaging protocol recommended by the gel manufacturer, but modified to match as closely as possible the RTAP. The resulting dose-maps demonstrate the high precision (< 1.3% noise at high dose) achievable with optical CT scanning while preserving high spatial resolution (<1 mm3). Using the sequence above, the MR gel-dose maps were found to have poorer precision by a factor of 5, under the strict conditions of the RTAP. The optical CT gel-dosimetry system was further evaluated for the verification of a complex 3-isocenter radiosurgery delivery. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that gel-dosimetry and optical-CT scanning approach an important long-term goal of radiation dosimetry, as specified by the RTAP criteria, and have potential to impact the clinic by improving and facilitating clinical dose verification for the most complex external beam radiation treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1436-1445
Number of pages10
JournalMedical physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D dosimetry
  • Gel dosimetry
  • Optical CT scanning
  • Polymer gel
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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