Dose determination in high dose-rate brachytherapy

Pavel V. Houdek, James G. Schwade, Xiaodong Wu, Vincent Pisciotta, Jeffrey A. Fiedler, Christopher F. Serago, Arnold M. Markoe, Andre A. Abitbol, Alan A. Lewin, Paul G. Braunschweiger, Marshall D. Sklar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Although high dose-rate brachytherapy with a single, rapidly moving radiation source is becoming a common treatment modality, a suitable formalism for determination of the dose delivered by a moving radiation source has not yet been developed. At present, brachytherapy software simulates high dose-rate treatments using only a series of stationary sources, and consequently fails to account for the dose component delivered while the source is in motion. We now describe a practical model for determination of the true, total dose administered. The algorithm calculates both the dose delivered while the source is in motion within and outside of the implanted volume (dynamic component), and the dose delivered while the source is stationary at a series of fixed dwell points. It is shown that the dynamic dose element cannot be ignored because it always increases the dose at the prescription points and, in addition, distorts the dose distribution within and outside of the irradiated volume. Failure to account for the dynamic dose component results in dosimetric errors that range from significant (> 10%) to negligible (< 1%), depending on the prescribed dose, source activity, and source speed as defined by the implant geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-801
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Algorithm
  • Dosimetry
  • High dose-rate brachytherapy
  • Moving source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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