Technical Note: Characterization of x-ray beam profiles for a fluoroscopic system incorporating copper filtration

Kevin A. Wunderle, Andrew R. Godley, Zhilei Liu Shen, Frank F. Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this study was to investigate x-ray beam profiles at various water depths to characterize the two-dimensional x-ray dose distribution, allowing for off-axis and out-of-field radiation dose estimation for a wide range of x-ray beam spectra commonly encountered in fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures. Methods: A Siemens Artis interventional fluoroscope was operated in a service mode to generate a continuous x-ray beam at fixed x-ray beam spectra, defined by their kVp and the thickness of additional copper filtration. A PTW scanning water tank with a diode detector was used to measure the x-ray beam profiles at several depths in water at various fields of view and x-ray beam spectra, both parallel and perpendicular to the anode-cathode axis direction. Results: X-ray beam profiles, including out-of-field tails, were characterized for a wide range of beam qualities. The anode heel effect was pronounced even at depth, resulting in large dose variations across the x-ray field; this effect was even more definite at large fields of view, at higher kVps, and in the absence of additional copper filtration. Conclusions: This study investigated and characterized 2D radiation dose deposition in water from x-ray beam spectra commonly used by modern fluoroscopes in interventional procedures. This knowledge can be applied to manual dosimetry calculations or can be used to refine the accuracy of automated dose mapping tools or Monte Carlo simulations of the radiation dose to soft tissue within the x-ray field and to tissue adjacent to the primary beam. Additionally, this study illustrates a substantial reduction of the anode heel effect by using moderate amounts of additional copper filtration to harden the x-ray beam spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4918-4922
Number of pages5
JournalMedical physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • fluoroscopy
  • x-ray beam profiles
  • x-ray dosimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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