Medical physics

Optical CT reconstruction of 3D dose distributions using the ferrous-benzoic-xylenol (FBX) gel dosimeter.

PMID 9775382


In recent years, magnetic-resonance imaging of gelatin doped with the Fricke solution has been applied to the direct measurement of three-dimensional (3D) radiation dose distributions. However, the 3D dose distribution can also be imaged more economically and efficiently using the method of optical absorption computed tomography. This is accomplished by first preparing a gelatin matrix containing a radiochromic dye and mapping the radiation-induced local change in the optical absorption coefficient. Ferrous-Benzoic-Xylenol (FBX) was the dye of choice for this investigation. The complex formed by Fe3+ and xylenol orange exhibits a linear change in optical attenuation (cm-1) with radiation dose in the range between 0 and 1000 cGy, and the local concentration of this complex can be probed using a green laser light (lambda = 543.5 nm). An optical computed tomography (CT) scanner was constructed analogous to a first-generation x-ray CT scanner, using a He-Ne laser, photodiodes, and rotation-translation stages controlled by a personal computer. The optical CT scanner itself can reconstruct attenuation coefficients to a baseline accuracy of < 2% while yielding dose images accurate to within 5% when other uncertainties are taken into account. Optical tomography is complicated by the reflection and refraction of light rays in the phantom materials, producing a blind spot in the transmission profiles which, results in a significant dose artifact in the reconstructed images. In this report we develop corrections used to reduce this artifact and yield accurate dosimetric maps. We also report the chemical reaction kinetics, the dose sensitivity and spatial resolution (< 1 mm3) obtained by optical absorption computed tomography. The article concludes with sample dose distributions produced by "cross-field" 6 MV x-ray beams, including a radiosurgery example.