Technical Note: Construction of heterogeneous head phantom for quality control in stereotactic radiosurgery

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Stereotactic radiosurgery is a high precision modality for conformally delivering high doses of radiation to the brain lesion with a large dose volume. Several studies for the quality control of this technique were performed to measure the dose delivered to the target with a homogenous head phantom and some dosimeters. Some studies were also performed with one or two instances of heterogeneity in the head phantom to measure the dose delivered to the target. But these studies assumed the head as a sphere and simple shape heterogeneity. The construction of an adult human head phantom with the same size, shape, and real inhomogeneity as an adult human head is needed. Only then is measuring the accurate dose delivered to the area of interest and comparison with the calculated dose possible.


According to the ICRU Report 44, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and methyl methacrylate were selected as a bone and soft tissue, respectively. A set of computed tomography (CT) scans from a standard human head were taken, and simplification of the CT images was used to design the layers of the phantom. The parts of each slice were cut and attached together. Tests of density and CT number were done to compare the material of the phantom with tissues of the head. The dose delivered to the target was measured with an EBT3 film.


The density of the PTFE and Plexiglas that were inserted in the phantom are in good agreement with bone and soft tissue. Also, the CT numbers of these materials have a low difference. The dose distribution from the EBT3 film and the treatment planning system is similar.


The constructed phantom with a size and inhomogeneity like an adult human head is suitable to measure the dose delivered to the area of interest. It also helps make an accurate comparison with the calculated dose by the treatment planning system. By using this phantom, the actual dose delivered to the target was obtained. This anthropomorphic head phantom can be used in other modalities of radiosurgery as well.

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