The effects of anatomic resolution, respiratory variations and dose calculation methods on lung dosimetry
Babcock, Kerry Kent Ronald
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The goal of this thesis was to explore the effects of dose resolution, respiratory variation and dose calculation method on dose accuracy. To achieve this, two models of lung were created. The first model, called TISSUE, approximated the connective alveolar tissues of the lung. The second model, called BRANCH, approximated the lungs bronchial, arterial and venous branching networks. Both models were varied to represent the full inhalation, full exhalation and midbreath phases of the respiration cycle. To explore the effects of dose resolution and respiratory variation on dose accuracy, each model was converted into a CT dataset and imported into a Monte Carlo simulation. The resulting dose distributions were compared and contrasted against dose distributions from Monte Carlo simulations which included the explicit model geometries. It was concluded that, regardless of respiratory phase, the exclusion of the connective tissue structures in the CT representation did not significantly effect the accuracy of dose calculations. However, the exclusion of the BRANCH structures resulted in dose underestimations as high as 14\% local to the branching structures. As lung density decreased, the overall dose accuracy marginally decreased. To explore the effects of dose calculation method on dose accuracy, CT representations of the lung models were imported into the Pinnacle$^3$ treatment planning system. Dose distributions were calculated using the collapsed cone convolution method and compared to those derived using the Monte Carlo method. For both lung models, it was concluded that the accuracy of the collapsed cone algorithm decreased with decreasing density. At full inhalation lung density, the collapsed cone algorithm underestimated dose by as much as 15\%. Also, the accuracy of the CCC method decreased with decreasing field size. Further work is needed to determine the source of the discrepancy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentPhysics and Engineering Physics
ProgramPhysics and Engineering Physics
CommitteePywell, Rob; Mayer, Monique; Xiao, Chijin; Kendall, Edward; Igarashi, Ru; Rogers, Dave