Comprehensive evaluations of cone-beam CT dose in image-guided radiation therapy via GPU-based Monte Carlo simulations

Davide Montanari, Enrica Scolari, Chiara Silvestri, Yan Jiang Graves, Hao Yan, Laura Cervino, Roger Rice, Steve B. Jiang, Xun Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cone beam CT (CBCT) has been widely used for patient setup in image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). Radiation dose from CBCT scans has become a clinical concern. The purposes of this study are (1) to commission a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based Monte Carlo (MC) dose calculation package gCTD for Varian On-Board Imaging (OBI) system and test the calculation accuracy, and (2) to quantitatively evaluate CBCT dose from the OBI system in typical IGRT scan protocols. We first conducted dose measurements in a water phantom. X-ray source model parameters used in gCTD are obtained through a commissioning process. gCTD accuracy is demonstrated by comparing calculations with measurements in water and in CTDI phantoms. Twenty-five brain cancer patients are used to study dose in a standard-dose head protocol, and 25 prostate cancer patients are used to study dose in pelvis protocol and pelvis spotlight protocol. Mean dose to each organ is calculated. Mean dose to 2% voxels that have the highest dose is also computed to quantify the maximum dose. It is found that the mean dose value to an organ varies largely among patients. Moreover, dose distribution is highly non-homogeneous inside an organ. The maximum dose is found to be 1-3 times higher than the mean dose depending on the organ, and is up to eight times higher for the entire body due to the very high dose region in bony structures. High computational efficiency has also been observed in our studies, such that MC dose calculation time is less than 5 min for a typical case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1253
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 7 2014


  • GPU
  • Monte Carlo
  • cone beam CT
  • dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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