The calibration of experimental self-developing Gafchromic® HXR film for the measurement of radiation dose in computed tomography

K. R. Gorny, S. L. Leitzen, M. R. Bruesewitz, J. M. Kofler, N. J. Hangiandreou, C. H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A prototype, self-developing Gafchromic® HXR film has sensitivity an order of magnitude larger than that of the commercially available Gafchromic XR film used in interventional radiological applications. The higher sensitivity of the HXR film allows the possibility of acquisition of high-resolution calibrated dose profiles within the diagnostic range of exposure levels, below 10 R (87.7 mGy). We employed a commercially available, optical flatbed scanner for digitization of the film and image analysis software to determine the response of the HXR films to ionizing radiation. Spatial uniformity and temporal repeatability of the flatbed scanner were determined and used in optimization of the digitization protocol. The HXR film postexposure density growth and sensitivity to ambient light were determined using multiple scans of two simultaneously exposed sheets, one stored in light-tight conditions and the other continuously illuminated with white light. A calibrated step wedge of the HXR film was obtained by simultaneous irradiation of a portion of a film strip and a calibrated ionization chamber using a radiographic x-ray tube with beam characteristics matched to a typical CT scanner (8 mm A1 HVL, 120 kVp). Repeated digitization of the calibration film was used to determine the precision of the film response measurements. The precision, as measured by the standard deviation of multiple measurements, was better than 1% over the full dynamic range of film response. This precision was measured using exposures ranging from 0.5 to 12 R (4.4 to 105.3 mGy). This exposure range is highly relevant to x-ray computed tomography. Preliminary radiation dose profiles demonstrate the utility of this technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1016
Number of pages7
JournalMedical physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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