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Hourdakis, Costantine John*; Boziari, Argyro*; Manetou, Aggeliki†

Health Physics:
doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181d18d45

Diagnostic radiology dosimeters should comply with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61674 standard in order to perform measurements with sufficient accuracy and reliability. The calibration of a dosimeter is performed under, and pertains to, reference conditions. However, in most cases, dosimeters are used for clinical measurements under non-reference conditions. The performance, in terms of accuracy of dose measurements, of six commercial diagnostic radiology dosimeters was tested at reference calibration and at clinical non-reference conditions. The results showed that all dosimeters being tested exhibited limits of variation within the ±5% IEC limits. Depending on the detector's physical and operational properties, the dosimeters' energy dependence of response values varied from −4.7% to +4.2%. To address this variation of response, calibration at three radiation qualities (RQR 3, RQR 5, and RQR 9), at least, is recommended. Different irradiation conditions such as air kerma rate, x-ray tube design, x-ray system, and dosimeter operational modes affect the dosimeters' response by less than 3%. A dosimeter that complies with IEC standards and operates according to its specifications could be used at typical clinical irradiation conditions taking into account only corrections for the energy dependence of response. In this case, the error in dose accuracy is expected to be less than 3%.

Author Information

* Ionizing Radiation Calibration Laboratory, Greek Atomic Energy Commission, Athens; † Medical Physics, 417 Army Share Fund Hospital, Athens.

For correspondence contact: C. J. Hourdakis, Ionizing Radiation Calibration Laboratory, Greek Atomic Energy Commission, P.O. Box 60092, 15310 Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Attiki, Greece, or email at

(Manuscript accepted 27 December 2009).

©2010Health Physics Society