Characterization and implementation of OSL dosimeters for use in evaluating the efficacy of organ-based tube current modulation for CT scans of the face and orbits

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this work was to characterize commercially available optically stimulated luminescent (OSL) dosimeters for general clinical applications and apply the results to the development of a method to evaluate the efficacy of a vendor-specific organ-based tube current modulation application for both phantom and clinical computed tomography (CT) scans of the face and orbits.

Methods:

This study consisted of three components: (1) thorough characterization of the dosimeters for CT scans in phantom, including evaluations of depletion, fading, angular dependence, and conversion from counts to absorbed dose; (2) evaluation of the efficacy of using plastic glasses to position the dosimeters over the eyes in both phantom and clinical studies; and (3) preliminary dosimetry measurements made using organ-based tube current modulation in computed tomography dose index (CTDI) and anthropomorphic phantom studies.

Results:

(1) Depletion effects were found to have a linear relationship with the output of the OSL dosimeters (R2 = 0.96). Fading was found to affect dosimeter readings during the first two hours following exposure but had no effect during the remaining 60-h period observed. No significant angular dependence was observed for the exposure conditions used in this study (with p-values ranging from 0.9 to 0.26 for all t-tests). Dosimeter counts varied linearly with absorbed dose when measured in the center and 12 o'clock positions of the CTDI phantoms. These linear models of counts versus absorbed dose had overlapping 95% confidence intervals for the intercepts but not for the slopes. (2) When dosimeters were positioned using safety glasses, there was no adverse effect on image quality, and there was no statistically significant difference between this placement and placement of the dosimeters directly on the eyes of the phantom (p = 0.24). (3) When using organ-based tube current modulation, the dose to the lens of the eye was reduced between 19% and 43%, depending on the scan protocol used and the positioning of the phantom. Furthermore, the amount of dose reduction was significantly affected by the vertical position of the phantom, with the largest reduction in dose seen when the phantom was centered in the gantry.

Conclusions:

(1) An appropriate correction factor, specific to CT scanning, was developed to account for depletion and fading characteristics of the dosimeters. Additionally, an equation to convert dosimeter counts to absorbed dose was established. (2) The use of plastic safety glasses was validated as an appropriate positioning device when measuring dose to the lens of the eye. (3) The use of organ-based tube current modulation can reduce dose to the lens of the eye during CT scanning. The amount of dose reduction, however, is largely influenced by the positioning of the anatomy in the gantry.

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