Output factor measurements for a kilovoltage x-ray therapy unit

  • B. J. Healy
  • A. Gibbs
  • R. L. Murry
  • J. E. Prunster
  • K. N. Nitschke
Technical Report


Output factors at the surface for treatment cones and lead cut-outs have been measured for a Pantak Therapax SXT 150 superficial therapy unit with x-ray beam qualities from 1 to 13 mm Al HVL. A variety of phantom materials and two ionisation chambers were tested for their suitability in output factor and percentage depth dose measurement. Solid water proved a useful water-equivalent phantom material with discrepancies between measurements in water and solid water less than 2.3% for percentage depth dose and less than 0.6% for output factors. Larger measurement discrepancies were found for Plastic Water and Perspex. A PTW Markus chamber was found to compare well with a NE 2532/3 low energy chamber in percentage depth dose measurement, but discrepancies arose between the chambers in output factor measurements, up to 5% for small field sizes. Measurements indicated that the Markus chamber had an energy dependent response in the kilovoltage range, which could account for the discrepancy in output factor measurement.

Key words

output factors kilovoltage x-rays ionisation chambers water substitutes 


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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Healy
    • 1
  • A. Gibbs
    • 1
  • R. L. Murry
    • 1
  • J. E. Prunster
    • 1
  • K. N. Nitschke
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Zone Radiation Oncology Service-Mater CentrePrincess Alexandra HospitalSouth BrisbaneAustralia

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