Accurate dose assessment during animal radiotherapy is beneficial for veterinary medicine and medical education.
To visualize the radiation treatment distribution of orthovoltage X-ray equipment in clinical practice using Monte Carlo simulations and created a dog skull water phantom for animal-specific radiotherapy.
EGSnrc-based BEAMnrc and DOSXYZnrc codes were used to simulate orthovoltage dose distributions. At 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 80 mm in a water phantom, depth dose was measured with waterproof Farmer dosimetry chambers and the diagonal off-axis ratio was measured with Gafchromic EBT3 film to simulate orthovoltage dose distributions. Energy differences between orthovoltage and linear accelerated radiotherapy were assessed with a heterogeneous bone and tissue virtual phantom. The animal-specific phantom for radiotherapy quality assurance was created from CT scans of a dog and printed with a three-dimensional printer using polyamide 12 nylon, with insertion points for dosimetry chambers and Gafchromic EBT3 film.
Monte Carlo simulated and measured dose distributions differed by no more than 2.0% along the central axis up to a depth of 80 mm. The anode heel effect occurred in shallow areas. The orthovoltage radiotherapy percentage depth dose in bone was >40%. Build-up was >40%, with build-down after bone exit, whereas linear accelerator radiotherapy absorption changed little in the bone. A highly water-impermeable, animal-specific dog skull water phantom could be created to evaluate dose distribution.
Animal-specific water phantoms and Monte Carlo simulated pre-treatment radiotherapy is useful quality assurance for orthovoltage radiotherapy and yields a visually familiar phantom that will be useful for veterinary medical education.
Key words: Orthovoltage, Animal radiotherapy, Heel effect, Water animal phantom, Animal specific radiotherapy quality assurance