SU-F-T-325: On the Use of Bolus in Dosimetry and Dose Reduction for Pacemaker and Defibrillator




Special attention is required in planning and administering radiation therapy to patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), such as pacemaker and defibrillator. The range of dose to CIEDs that can induce malfunction is very large among CIEDs. Significant defects have been reported at dose as low as 0.15Gy. Failures causing discomfort have been reported at dose as low as 0.05Gy. Therefore, accurate estimation of dose to CIED and dose reduction are both important even if the dose is expected to be less than the often-used 2Gy limit. We investigate the use of bolus in in vivo dosimetry for CIEDs.


In our clinic, high-energy beams (>10MV) are not used for patients with CIED due to neutron production. Solid water phantom measurements of out-of-field dose for a 6MV beam were performed using parallel plate chamber at different depth with and without 2cm bolus covering the chamber. In vivo dosimetry at skin surface above the pacemaker was performed with and without bolus for 3 patients with pacemaker <5cm from the field edge.


Chamber measured dose at depth ∼1 to 1.5cm below the skin surface, where the CIED is normally located, was reduced by ∼6% – 20% with bolus. The dose reduction became smaller at deeper depth. In vivo dosimetry at skin surface also yielded ∼20% – 60% lower dose when using bolus for the 3 patients. In general, TPS calculation underestimated the dose. The dose measured with bolus is closer to the dose at the depth of the pacemaker and less affected by contaminant electrons and linac head leakage.


In vivo CIED dose measurements should be performed with 1 to 2cm bolus covering the dosimeter on the skin above the CIED for more accurate CIED dose estimation. The use of bolus also reduces the dose delivered to CIED.