Patient dose from kilovoltage cone beam computed tomography imaging in radiation therapy

Mohammad K. Islam, Thomas G. Purdie, Bernhard D. Norrlinger, Hamideh Alasti, Douglas J. Moseley, Michael B. Sharpe, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen, David A. Jaffray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kilovoltage cone-beam computerized tomography (kV-CBCT) systems integrated into the gantry of linear accelerators can be used to acquire high-resolution volumetric images of the patient in the treatment position. Using on-line software and hardware, patient position can be determined accurately with a high degree of precision and, subsequently, set-up parameters can be adjusted to deliver the intended treatment. While the patient dose due to a single volumetric imaging acquisition is small compared to the therapy dose, repeated and daily image guidance procedures can lead to substantial dose to normal tissue. The dosimetric properties of a clinical CBCT system have been studied on an Elekta linear accelerator (Synergy® RP, XVI system) and additional measurements performed on a laboratory system with identical geometry. Dose measurements were performed with an ion chamber and MOSFET detectors at the center, periphery, and surface of 30 and 16-cm-diam cylindrical shaped water phantoms, as a function of x-ray energy and longitudinal field-of-view (FOV) settings of 5,10,15, and 26 cm. The measurements were performed for full 360° CBCT acquisition as well as for half-rotation scans for 120 kVp beams using the 30-cm-diam phantom. The dose at the center and surface of the body phantom were determined to be 1.6 and 2.3 cGy for a typical imaging protocol, using full rotation scan, with a technique setting of 120 kVp and 660 mAs. The results of our measurements have been presented in terms of a dose conversion factor fCBCT, expressed in cGyR. These factors depend on beam quality and phantom size as well as on scan geometry and can be utilized to estimate dose for any arbitrary mAs setting and reference exposure rate of the x-ray tube at standard distance. The results demonstrate the opportunity to manipulate the scanning parameters to reduce the dose to the patient by employing lower energy (kVp) beams, smaller FOV, or by using half-rotation scan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1582
Number of pages10
JournalMedical physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Image guided radiation therapy
  • Patient dose
  • kV cone beam CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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