Effect of tissue inhomogeneity on dose distribution of point sources of low-energy electrons
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Perturbation in dose distributions of point sources of low-energy electrons at planar interfaces of cortical bone (CB) and red marrow (RM) was investigated experimentally and by Monte Carlo codes EGS and the TIGER series. Ultrathin LiF thermoluminescent dosimeters were used to measure the dose distributions of point sources of 204Tl and 147Pm in RM. When the point sources were at 12 mg/cm2 from a planar interface of CB and RM equivalent plastics, dose enhancement ratios in RM averaged over the region 0-12 mg/cm2 from the interface were measured to be 1.08 +/- 0.03 (SE) and 1.03 +/- 0.03 (SE) for 204Tl and 147Pm, respectively. The Monte Carlo codes predicted 1.05 +/- 0.02 and 1.01 +/- 0.02 for the two nuclides, respectively. However, EGS gave consistently 3% higher dose in the dose scoring region than the TIGER series when point sources of monoenergetic electrons up to 0.75 MeV energy were considered in the homogeneous RM situation or in the CB and RM heterogeneous situation. By means of the TIGER series, it was demonstrated that aluminum, which is normally assumed to be equivalent to CB in radiation dosimetry, leads to an overestimation of backscattering of low-energy electrons in soft tissue at a CB-soft-tissue interface by as much as a factor of 2.
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