The influence of high-density tissue heterogeneities in small-diameter beams used in stereotactic radiosurgery has been investigated. Dose perturbation immediately behind aluminium sheets, used to simulate a high- density tissue inhomogeneity such as bone, was studied in a solid water phantom. Dose reduction factors (DRFs), which are the ratios of the dose in the presence of the inhomogeneity to dose in a uniform density solid water phantom, were measured with a diamond detector for three thicknesses of aluminium. DRFs exhibit dependence on both the inhomogeneity thickness and the beam diameter. The DRF decreases with inhomogeneity thickness. The DRF initially decreases with increase in the beam diameter from 12.5 to 25 mm. For fields greater than 25 mm, the DRFs are nearly constant. The commonly used algorithms such as the TAR ratio method underestimate the magnitude of the measured effect. A good agreement between these measurements and Monte Carlo calculations is obtained. The influence of the high-density inhomogeneity on the tissue maximum ratio (TMR) was also measured with the inhomogeneity at a fixed depth d(max) from the entrance surface. The TMR is reduced for all detector-inhomogeneity distances investigated. The dose build-up phenomenon observed in the presence of low-density air inhomogeneity is absent in the presence of a high-density inhomogeneity. The beam width (defined by 50% dose points) immediately beyond the inhomogeneity is unaffected by the high-density inhomogeneity. However, the 90%-10% and 80%- 20% dose penumbra widths and the dose outside the beam edge (beyond the 50% dose point) are reduced. This reduction in dose outside the beam edge is caused by the reduced range of the secondary radiation (photons and electrons) in the high-density medium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging