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Clinical implementation of AAPM Task Group 32 recommendations on brachytherapy source strength specification

Author(s) -

Williamson Jeffrey F.,

Nath Ravinder

Publication year - 1991

Publication title -

medical physics

Language(s) - English

Resource type - Journals

SCImago Journal Rank - 1.473

H-Index - 180

eISSN - 2473-4209

pISSN - 0094-2405

DOI - 10.1118/1.596691

Subject(s) - kerma , brachytherapy , radium , vendor , task group , multiplicative function , dosimetry , physics , nuclear medicine , mathematics , nuclear physics , medicine , engineering , radiation therapy , mathematical analysis , surgery , marketing , business , engineering management

Historically the strength of sealed brachytherapy sources has been described by many physical quantities, including true activity, apparent activity, and equivalent mass of radium. Recently, the AAPM Task Group 32 recommended that these quantities be replaced by a single quantity, air‐kerma strength, with units of μGy m 2 h −1 . A set of equations has been developed for unambiguously converting source strength estimates and renormalizing published dose‐rate tables, which assume traditional quantities and units, into forms consistent with air‐kerma strength. For commonly used brachytherapy sources, multiplicative conversion factors for each source‐strength formalism and set of units are given. To convert equivalent mass of radium to air‐kerma strength requires a single multiplicative factor, 7.23 μGy m 2 h −1 /mgRaEq, applicable to all sources. Based upon a review of vendor source specification practices, the factors for converting source strength of 1 9 8 Au, 1 0 3 Pd, and 1 2 5 I seeds from apparent mCi to air‐kerma strength are 2.06, 1.29, and 1.27 μGy m 2 h −1 /mCi(apparent), respectively. These factors are independent of source geometry but depend on the nominal exposure rate constant value selected by the vendor. Conversion factors applicable to mass of radium or true activity depend upon both source geometry and radionuclide identity. Because many of these conversion factors depend upon vendor choices of physical constants and exposure rate constants, readers are cautioned to carefully review vendor source strength specification practices before adopting these values clinically. Finally, the relationships between the various source strength quantities and absorbed dose rate in the medium surrounding the source are elucidated.