Output factor measurement in high dose-per-pulse IORT electron beams

M Pimpinella, S Andreoli, C De Angelis, S Della Monaca, M D'Arienzo, L Menegotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To assess the capability of different types of detectors to measure relative output factors (OF) at high dose per pulse by comparison with alanine dosimeters, which are independent of dose rate.

METHODS: Measurements were made in 9 MeV and 7 MeV electron beams produced by a Novac7 accelerator for intraoperative radiotherapy. Applicators with diameter of 10-7-6-5 and 4 cm were used. The dose per pulse varied from about 30 mGy, for the 10 cm reference applicator, to about 70 mGy, for the 4 cm applicator. Five types of plane-parallel ionization chambers (PTW Advanced Markus, Markus and Roos, IBA PPC40 and PPC05), two types of silicon diodes (PTW 60017 and IBA EFD3G) and a PTW 60019 microDiamond were considered. For the ionization chambers, correction factors for ion recombination effects were determined for each applicator using a modified two-voltage-analysis method that includes the free-electron component.

RESULTS: Reference OF values were determined by alanine dosimeters with a standard combined uncertainty of 0.8%. Deviations from the reference OFs were generally within 1.5% for all the detectors, hence within the 95% confidence interval of alanine measurements. Larger deviations of up to about 2% obtained in a few cases are consistent with a 0.7% long-term reproducibility of OF measurements.

CONCLUSIONS: Comparison with alanine measurements demonstrated that all the detectors considered in this work can be used to measure OFs in high dose-per-pulse electron beams with an accuracy better than 2%, provided that appropriate corrections for ion recombination effects are applied when using ionization chambers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica Medica
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Electrons/therapeutic use
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiometry
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Reproducibility of Results


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