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Relative electron density calibration of CT scanners for radiotherapy treatment planning.


Several authors have reported data on the variation of Hounsfield numbers with electron density in CT scanners. The data can be fitted with a double straight line approach. For non-bone tissues (or phantom materials with similar atomic numbers) the data from all authors can be fitted to a single straight line. For bone-like materials the line varies between authors. The method used to measure electron density has a greater effect than the differences between scanners, or the kilovoltage used on a given scanner. The effect of variation of these slopes on the accuracy of radiotherapy treatment planning is analysed. For typical radiotherapy beams, to produce a 1% error in dosimetry would require errors of over 8% in bone electron density. Using a single pair of calibration lines for all the scanners reported would give dosimetric errors of under 0.8%. A formula is recommended as a default for use in planning systems in circumstances where no data are available for a particular scanner.

Volume 72, Issue 860August 1999
Pages: 729-829


  • Published onlineJanuary 28,2014