Calibration of GafChromic XR-RV3 radiochromic film for skin dose measurement using standardized x-ray spectra and a commercial flatbed scanner




In this study, newly formulated XR-RV3 GafChromic® film was calibrated with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceability for measurement of patient skin dose during fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures.


The film was calibrated free-in-air to air kerma levels between 15 and 1100 cGy using four moderately filtered x-ray beam qualities (60, 80, 100, and 120 kVp). The calibration films were scanned with a commercial flatbed document scanner. Film reflective density-to-air kerma calibration curves were constructed for each beam quality, with both the orange and white sides facing the x-ray source. A method to correct for nonuniformity in scanner response (up to 25% depending on position) was developed to enable dose measurement with large films. The response of XR-RV3 film under patient backscattering conditions was examined using on-phantom film exposures and Monte Carlo simulations.


The response of XR-RV3 film to a given air kerma depended on kVp and film orientation. For a 200 cGy air kerma exposure with the orange side of the film facing the source, the film response increased by 20% from 60 to 120 kVp. At 500 cGy, the increase was 12%. When 500 cGy exposures were performed with the white side facing the x-ray source, the film response increased by 4.0% (60 kVp) to 9.9% (120 kVp) compared to the orange-facing orientation. On-phantom film measurements and Monte Carlo simulations show that using a NIST-traceable free-in-air calibration curve to determine air kerma in the presence of backscatter results in an error from 2% up to 8% depending on beam quality. The combined uncertainty in the air kerma measurement from the calibration curves and scanner nonuniformity correction was ±7.1% (95% C.I.). The film showed notable stability. Calibrations of film and scanner separated by 1 yr differed by 1.0%.


XR-RV3 radiochromic film response to a given air kerma shows dependence on beam quality and film orientation. The presence of backscatter slightly modifies the x-ray energy spectrum; however, the increase in film response can be attributed primarily to the increase in total photon fluence at the sensitive layer. Film calibration curves created under free-in-air conditions may be used to measure dose from fluoroscopic quality x-ray beams, including patient backscatter with an error less than the uncertainty of the calibration in most cases.