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A known factor affecting the accuracy of radiochromic film dosimetry is the lateral response artifact (LRA) induced by nonuniform response of a flatbed scanner in the direction perpendicular to the scan direction. This work reports a practical solution to eliminate such artifacts for all forms of dose QA.

EBT3 films from a single production lot (02181401) cut into rectangular 4 × 5 cm2 pieces, with the long dimension parallel to the long dimension of the original 20.3 × 25.4 cm2 sheets, were exposed at a depth of 5 cm on a Varian Trilogy at the center of a 20 × 20 cm2 open field at seven doses between 50 and 1600 cGy using 6 MV photons. These films together with an unexposed film from the same production lot were lined one next to the other on an Epson 10000XL or 11000XL scanner in portrait orientation with their long dimension parallel to the scan direction. Scanned images were then obtained with the line of films positioned at seven discrete lateral locations perpendicular to the scan direction. The process was repeated in landscape orientation and on three other Epson scanners. Data were also collected for three additional production lots of EBT3 film (11051302, 03031401, and 03171403). From measurements at the various lateral positions, the scanner response was determined as a function of the lateral position of the scanned film. For a given color channel , the response at any lateral position is related to the response at the center, , of the scanner by Response(, , ) = + ⋅Response(, , ), where is dose and the coefficients and are determined from the film measurements at the center of the scanner and six other discrete lateral positions. The values at intermediate lateral positions were obtained by linear interpolation. The coefficients were determined for the red, green, and blue color channels, preserving the ability to apply triple-channel dosimetry once corrections were applied to compensate for the lateral position response artifact. To validate this method, corrections were applied to several films that were exposed to 15 × 15cm2 open fields and large IMRT and VMAT fields and scanned at the extreme edges of the scan window in addition to the central location. Calibration and response data were used to generate dose maps and perform gamma analysis using single- or triple-channel dosimetry with FilmQAPro 2014 software.

The authors’ study found that calibration curves at the different lateral positions could be correlated by a simple two-point rescaling using the response for unexposed film as well as the response of film exposed at high doses between 800 and 1600 cGy. The coefficients and for each color channel were found to be independent of dose at each lateral location . This made it possible to apply the relationship Response(, , ) = + ⋅Response(, , ), to the raw film responses, permitting correction of the response values at any lateral position to an equivalent response, as if that part of the film was located at the center of the scanner. This correction method was validated for several films exposed to open as well as large IMRT and VMAT fields.

The work reported elaborates on the process using the correction procedures to eliminate the lateral response artifact and demonstrates improvements in the accuracy of radiochromic film dosimetry for the radiation therapy quality assurance applications.


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