SU-F-T-11: Scintillator Based Quality Assurance Device for HDR Brachytherapy




To build a test device for HDR afterloaders capable of checking source positions, times at positions and estimate the activity of the source.


A catheter is taped on a plastic scintillation sheet. When a source travels through the catheter, the scintillator sheet lights up around the source. The sheet is monitored with a video camera, and records the movement of the light spot. The center of the spot on each image on the video provides the source location, and the time stamps of the images can provide the dwell time the source spend in each location. Finally, the brightness of the light spot is related to the activity of the source. A code was developed for noise removal, calibrate the scale of the image to centimeters, eliminate the distortion caused by the oblique view angle, identifying the boundaries of the light spot, transforming the image into binary and detect and calculate the source motion, positions and times. The images are much less noisy if the camera is shielded. That requires that the light spot is monitored in a mirror, rather than directly. The whole assembly is covered from external light and has a size of approximately 17×35×25cm (H×L×W)


A cheap camera in BW mode proved to be sufficient with a plastic scintillator sheet. The best images were resulted by a 3mm thick sheet with ZnS:Ag surface coating. The shielding of the camera decreased the noise, but could not eliminate it. A test run even in noisy condition resulted in approximately 1 mm and 1 sec difference from the planned positions and dwell times. Activity tests are in progress.


The proposed method is feasible. It might simplify the monthly QA process of HDR Brachytherapy units.