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19 March 2014 Beam hardening and partial beam hardening of the bowtie filter: Effects on dosimetric applications in CT
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Purpose: To estimate the consequences on dosimetric applications when a CT bowtie filter is modeled by means of full beam hardening versus partial beam hardening. Method: A model of source and filtration for a CT scanner as developed by Turner et. al. [1] was implemented. Specific exposures were measured with the stationary CT X-ray tube in order to assess the equivalent thickness of Al of the bowtie filter as a function of the fan angle. Using these thicknesses, the primary beam attenuation factors were calculated from the energy dependent photon mass attenuation coefficients and used to include beam hardening in the spectrum. This was compared to a potentially less computationally intensive approach, which accounts only partially for beam hardening, by giving the photon spectrum a global (energy independent) fan angle specific weighting factor. Percentage differences between the two methods were quantified by calculating the dose in air after passing several water equivalent thicknesses representative for patients having different BMI. Specifically, the maximum water equivalent thickness of the lateral and anterior-posterior dimension and of the corresponding (half) effective diameter were assessed. Results: The largest percentage differences were found for the thickest part of the bowtie filter and they increased with patient size. For a normal size patient they ranged from 5.5% at half effective diameter to 16.1% for the lateral dimension; for the most obese patient they ranged from 7.7% to 19.3%, respectively. For a complete simulation of one rotation of the x-ray tube, the proposed method was 12% faster than the complete simulation of the bowtie filter. Conclusion: The need for simulating the beam hardening of the bow tie filter in Monte Carlo platforms for CT dosimetry will depend on the required accuracy.
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X. Lopez-Rendon, G. Zhang, H. Bosmans, R. Oyen, and F. Zanca "Beam hardening and partial beam hardening of the bowtie filter: Effects on dosimetric applications in CT", Proc. SPIE 9033, Medical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging, 903341 (19 March 2014);

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