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This study is primarily aimed at the analysis of various dose homogeneity indices (HIs) essential for the evaluation of therapeutic plans by employing intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) on patients with cervix cancer. Also integral dose (ID) to healthy surrounding organs is computed.
Materials and methods
Effectiveness of different HIs (A, B, C, D) was explored for IMRT plans using 15 MV photon beam. In total, 18 patients were selected at random for treatment of cervix cancer, and dose of 5,040 cGy was delivered in 28 equal fractions.
The study was undertaken to compare four HI formulas and coefficient of determination between each set of HI was known by calculating R2 value. Mean±SD of HI A, HI B, HI C and HI D were 1·12±0·02, 0·13±0·04, 0·10±0·02 and 0·99±0·03, respectively. Mean value of ID for rectum is 3·16 and for bladder is 10·3.
Our data suggested that HI calculated using four formulas provided good plan quality. The results advocate that all the studied HIs can be effectively used for assessment of uniformity inside the target volume. However, values of HI C were closest to ideal value as compared with other three formulas; hence, it is considered a better measure to compute homogeneity of dose within target volume. The ID gives satisfactory results for surrounding normal tissues such as rectum and bladder and significant critical tissue sparing was achieved by using IMRT technique.
This exploration is intended to measure tissue maximum ratios (TMRs) in smaller fields through CC01 detector and to compare CC01 measured TMRs with Pinnacle treatment planning software (TPS) calculated TMRs.
Materials and methods
CC01 compact chamber detector was used to measure TMR in water phantom for 6 and 18 MV beam delivered from Varian linear accelerator. Pinnacle TPS was employed in this study to calculate TMR from the measured percentage depth doses data. CC01 measured TMR data was compared with the calculated TMR data at depths from 5 to 20 cm for field sizes varying from 1 to 10 cm2.
For the smallest given field size of 1 cm2, CCO1 measured 13·95% higher TMR value for 18 MV beam than that for 6 MV beam. At 20 cm depth for 1 cm2 field size, TMR due to 18 MV beam was 52·4% higher than the TMR due to 6 MV beam. For 6 MV beam, the maximum difference appeared between the measured TMR and pinnacle calculated TMR was 2·8% and for 18 MV beam, the maximum difference was 4%.
For both 6 and 18 MV beam, there was good agreement between CC01 measured and Pinnacle calculated TMRs for the field sizes ranging from 1 to 10 cm2. This exploration can be extended to the determination of other dosimetric parameters like TARs, TPRs in small fields.
This study aimed to investigate tolerance dose to organs at risk (OARs) as well as degree of conformity and homogeneity for head and neck cancer patients by using simultaneous integrated boost intensity-modulated radiotherapy technique (SIB IMRT).
Materials and methods
This study analysed 15 head and neck cancer patients receiving treatment using inverse planned SIB IMRT technique. Using a beam energy of 6 MV, two dose levels of 70 and 55·4 Gy were used to treat the tumour. Doses of 2 Gy in 35 fractions and 1·68 Gy in 33 fractions were simultaneously delivered for effective planning target volume (PTV1) and boost planning target volume (PTV2), respectively.
Dose distribution in PTV and critical organs lies within tolerance dose guidelines protecting spinal cord, brain stem, optic chiasm, optic nerve, thus reducing the risk of damage to normal tissues. Minor deviation from tolerance limit was observed for parotid glands. This technique provided highly conformal and homogenous dose distribution as well as better sparing of OARs, hence verifying quality assurance results to be satisfactory.
SIB IMRT technique offers best solution for preserving organ function by keeping dose below tolerance level. Treatment of head and neck carcinoma using SIB IMRT is feasible, more efficient, and dose escalation is achieved in a single plan.
Small field dosimetry is complicated and accuracy in the measurement of total scatter factor (TSF) is crucial for dosimetric calculations, in making optimum intensity-modulated radiotherapy plans for treating small target volumes. In this study, we intended to determine the TSF measuring properties of CC01 and CC04 detectors for field sizes ranging from sub-centimetre to the centimetre fields.
Material and methods
CC01 and CC04 chamber detectors were used to measure TSF for 6 and 18 MV photon beam delivered from the linear accelerator, through small fields in a water phantom. Small fields were created by collimator jaws and multi-leaf collimators separately, with field sizes ranging from 0·6 to 10 cm2 and 0·5 to 20 cm2, respectively.
CC01 measured TSF at all the given field sizes created by jaws and multi-leaf collimators for both 6 and 18 MV beams whereas CC04 could not measure TSF for field sizes <1 cm2 due to volume averaging and perturbation effects.
CC01 was shown to be effective for measurement of TSF in sub-centimetre field sizes. CC01 can be employed to measure other dosimetric quantities in small fields using different energy beams.
To deliver radiation doses with higher accuracy, radiation treatment through megavoltage photon beams from linear accelerators, is accepted widely for treating malignancies. Before calibrating the linear accelerators, it is essential to make a complete analysis of all photon beam profile parameters. The main objective of this exploration was to investigate the 6 and 15 MV photon beam profile characteristics to improve the accuracy of radiation treatment plans.
In this exploration, treatment parameters like depth, field size and beam energy were varied to observe their effect on dosimetric characteristics of beam profiles in a water phantom, generated by linear accelerator Varian Clinac.
The results revealed that Dmax and Dmin decreased with increasing depth but increased with increasing field sizes. Both left and right penumbras increased with increasing depth, field size and energy. Homogeneity increased with field size but decreased with depth. Symmetry had no dependence on depth, energy and field size.
All the characteristics of photon beam dosimetry were analysed and the characteristics like homogeneity and symmetry measured by an ion chamber in a water phantom came within clinically acceptable level of 3 and 103%, respectively, thus fulfilled the requirements of standard linear accelerator specifications. This exploration can be extended to the determination of beam profile characteristics of electron and photon beams of other energies at various depths and field sizes for designing optimum treatment plans.
Cardiac surgery for correction or palliation of congenital cardiac disease in infancy and childhood remains a privilege that is rarely accessible to two-thirds of the world’s population. This imbalance has created a unique spectrum of illness in patients with underlying congenital cardiac disease and complicating infective endocarditis in developing countries, including Pakistan. In this study, we characterize endocarditis as seen in such patients presenting in Karachi.
Patients and settings
We reviewed retrospectively patients admitted to Aga Khan University with underlying congenitally malformed hearts and endocarditis between 1991 and 2004.
We identified 48 patients with endocarditis according to the modified Duke Criterions, with just over half the cases (54%) classified as definite endocarditis. Of the patients, 23 (49%) patients were more than 16 years old. Uncorrected left-to-right-shunts, tetralogy of Fallot, and congenital mitral valvar disease were the most common underlying defects. Patients with cyanotic defects, particularly of the complex type, were underrepresented (4%). Only 11 (22.9%) of the patients had a previous palliative or corrective surgery. In one-third of the patients (16), streptococcal species were identified as the microbiologic cause of endocarditis, and 22 (45.8%) had culture-negative endocarditis. In contrast, Staphylococcus aureus and enterococci caused endocarditis in only one patient each. There were no differences in mortality or complications between cyanotic and acyanotic congenital defects. Surgery was performed in nine (18.7%) patients with endocarditis, and of these, 13 (27.1%) died.
In contrast to the developed world, endocarditis in the developing countries, such as Pakistan, complicates uncorrected left-to-right shunts and tetralogy of Fallot, probably because patients with complex cyanotic defects fail to survive long after birth due to the lack of available surgery. Almost half of patients had culture-negative endocarditis, likely related to several factors.
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