Dosimetry of small bone joint calculated by the analytical anisotropic algorithm: A Monte Carlo evaluation using the EGSnrc

James C.L. Chow, Runqing Jiang, Amir M. Owrangi

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2 Scopus citations


This study compared a small bone joint dosimetry calculated by the anisotropic analytical algorithm (AAA) and Monte Carlo simulation using megavoltage (MV) photon beams. The performance of the AAA in the joint dose calculation was evaluated using Monte Carlo simulation, and dependences of joint dose on its width and beam angle were investigated. Small bone joint phantoms containing a vertical water layer (0.5-2 mm) sandwiched by two bones (2 × 2 × 2 cm3) were irradiated by the 6 and 15 MV photon beams with field size equal to 4 × 4 cm2. Depth doses along the central beam axis in a joint (cartilage) were calculated with and without a bolus (thickness = 1.5 cm) added on top of the phantoms. Different beam angles (0°-15°) were used with the isocenter set to the center of the bone joint for dose calculations using the AAA (Eclipse treatment planning system) and Monte Carlo simulation (the EGSnrc code). For dosimetry comparison and normalization, dose calculations were repeated in homogeneous water phantoms with the bone substituted by water. Comparing the calculated dosimetry between the AAA and Monte Carlo simulation, the AAA underestimated joint doses varying with its widths by about 6%-12% for 6 MV and 12%-23% for 15 MV without bolus, and by 7% for 6 MV and 13%-17% for 15 MV with bolus. Moreover, joint doses calculated by the AAA did not vary with the joint width and beam angle. From Monte Carlo results, there was a decrease in the calculated joint dose as the joint width increased, and a slight decrease as the beam angle increased. When bolus was added to the phantom, it was found that variations of joint dose with its width and beam angle became less significant for the 6 MV photon beams. In conclusion, dosimetry deviation in small bone joint calculated by the AAA and Monte Carlo simulation was studied using the 6 and 15 MV photon beam. The AAA could not predict variations of joint dose with its width and beam angle, which were predicted by the Monte Carlo simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-273
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014



  • Anisotropic analytical algorithm
  • Bone heterogeneity
  • Dose calculation
  • Heterogeneous correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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