Superimposition of beams to vary shot size in gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery.

Morris I. Bank, Robert Timmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Leksell Gamma Knife [Elekta Corp] uses helmets as collimators to produce four standard beam sizes. The nominal beam diameters are 18, 14, 8, and 4 mm. During computer treatment planning for gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery, the size of the treated volume may differ from the standard beam sizes. To maintain conformality of the isodose curves to the treated volume, beam sizes may be superimposed during computer treatment planning to produce beam diameters that are intermediate to the standard beams. A study of superimposed gamma knife beams was performed to confirm the accuracy of this method and to verify the accuracy of the GammaPlan treatment planning computer. Superimposed beams were simulated on the Elekta treatment planning computer, GammaPlan, version 4.12, and tested by film measurements of beam profiles for single helmet sizes and superimposed shots with various beam weightings. The weighting for each beam size is varied to attain the beam size diameter desired. The beams were defined at the 50% isodose line. The profiles of the superimposed beams were obtained and compared with the single helmet shots. The uniformity of the resulting beams was measured. The results show a linear relationship between beam size and beam weighting for the superimposed beams. The film measurements confirm the computer calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics / American College of Medical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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