Technical note: Heterogeneity dose calculation accuracy in IMRT: Study of five commercial treatment planning systems using an anthropomorphic thorax phantom

Scott E. Davidson, Richard A. Popple, Geoffrey S. Ibbott, David S. Followill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of five commonly used intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning systems (TPSs), 3 using convolution superposition algorithms or the analytical anisotropic algorithm (CSA/AAAs) and 2 using pencil beam algorithms (PBAs), in calculating the absorbed dose within a low-density, heterogeneous region when compared with measurements made in an anthropomorphic thorax phantom. The dose predicted in the target center met the test criteria (5% of the dose normalization point or 3 mm distance to agreement) for all TPSs tested; however, at the tumor-lung interface and at the peripheral lung in the vicinity of the tumor, the CSA/AAAs performed better than the PBAs (85% and 50%, respectively, of pixels meeting the 5%/3-mm test criteria), and thus should be used to determine dose in heterogeneous regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5434-5439
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008



  • Anthropomorphic phantom
  • Film
  • Heterogeneity dose calculation
  • Measurement
  • TLD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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