Calibration of the125I-induced x-ray fluorescence spectrometry-based system ofin vivobone strontium determinations using hydroxyapatite as a phantom material: a simulation study
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OBJECTIVE: The calibration of in vivo x-ray fluorescence systems of bone strontium quantification, based on 125I excitation, is dependent on a coherent normalization procedure. Application of this procedure with the use of plaster of Paris (poP) as a phantom material requires the application of a coherent conversion factor (CCF) to make the calibration functions transferable between the phantom material and human bone. In this work we evaluate, with the use of Monte Carlo simulation, the potential benefit of employing a newly developed hydroxyapatite phantom material into the calibration protocol. APPROACH: Simulations being performed on bare bone phantoms, as the emission spectrum in this case is equivalent to an emission spectrum of an adequately corrected measurement for soft tissue attenuation of emitted strontium signal. We report that the application of hydroxyapatite phantoms does in fact remove the need for a coherent correction factor (CCF). MAIN RESULTS: The newly developed phantoms can thus be used for the calibration of in vivo bone strontium systems removing one step of the calibration protocol. Calibration is, however, limited to cases in which the concentration is relative to the amount of calcium in the specimen, which is, the most useful quantity in a clinical sense. Determining concentrations on a per-mass-of-material basis, that is, a concentration not normalized to the calcium content of the phantom/bone, results in large biases in estimated bone strontium content. SIGNIFICANCE: The use of an HAp phantom material was found to remove the need for a CCF. It was also found that in the case of an incomplete conversion ratio when preparing the phantom material that there would be little effect on the differential coherent cross-section and thereby the coherent normalization-based calibration protocol.