Half-value layer (HVL) measurements on commercial whole body computer tomography (CT) scanners require serial measurements and, in many institutions, the presence of a service engineer. An assembly of aluminum filters (AAF), designed to be used in conjunction with a real-time dosimeter, was developed to provide estimates of the HVL using clinical protocols. Two real-time dose probes, a solid-state and air ionization chamber, were examined. The AAF consisted of eight rectangular filters of high-purity aluminum (Type 1100), symmetrically positioned to form a cylindrical 'cage' around the probe's detective volume. The incident x-ray beam was attenuated by varying thicknesses of aluminum filters as the gantry completed a minimum of one rotation. Measurements employing real-time chambers were conducted both in service mode and with a routine abdomen/pelvis protocol for several combinations of x-ray tube potentials and bow tie filters. These measurements were validated against conventional serial HVL measurements. The average relative difference between the HVL measurements using the two methods was less than 5% when using a 122 mm diameter AAF; relative differences were reduced to 1.1% when the diameter was increased to 505 mm, possibly due to reduced scatter contamination. Use of a real-time dose probe and the AAF allowed for time-efficient measurements of beam quality on a clinical CT scanner using clinical protocols.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology