GMctdospp: Description and validation of a CT dose calculation system

  • Schmidt, R.
  • Wulff, J.
  • Zink, K.
Purpose: To develop a Monte Carlo (MC)-based computed tomography (CT) dose estimation method with a graphical user interface with options to define almost arbitrary simulation scenarios, to make calculations sufficiently fast for comfortable handling, and to make the software free of charge for general availability to the scientific community. Methods: A framework called GMctdospp was developed to calculate phantom and patient doses with the MC method based on the EGSnrc system. A CT scanner was modeled for testing and was adapted to half-value layer, beam-shaping filter, z-profile, and tube-current modulation (TCM). To validate the implemented variance reduction techniques, depth-dose and cross-profile calculations of a static beam were compared against DOSXYZnrc/EGSnrc. Measurements for beam energies of 80 and 120 kVp at several positions of a CT dose-index (CTDI) standard phantom were compared against calculations of the created CT model. Finally, the efficiency of the adapted code was benchmarked against EGSnrc defaults. Results: The CT scanner could be modeled accurately. The developed TCM scheme was confirmed by the dose measurement. A comparison of calculations to DOSXYZnrc showed no systematic differences. Measurements in a CTDI phantom could be reproduced within 2\% average, with a maximal difference of about 6\%. Efficiency improvements of about six orders of magnitude were observed for larger organ structures of a chest-examination protocol in a voxelized phantom. In these cases, simulations took 25 s to achieve a statistical uncertainty of ∼0.5\%. Conclusions: A fast dose-calculation system for phantoms and patients in a CT examination was developed, successfully validated, and benchmarked. Influences of scan protocols, protection method, and other issues can be easily examined with the developed framework.
Medical Physics
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