Extraction of electron beam dose parameters from EBT2 film data scored in a mini phantom
In this study, we present three significant artifacts that have the potential to negatively impact the accuracy and precision of film dosimetry measurements made using GAFCHROMIC EBT radiochromic film when read out with CCD flatbed scanners. Films were scanned using three commonly employed instruments: a Macbeth TD932 spot densitometer, an Epson Expression 1680 CCD array scanner, and a Microtek ScanMaker i900 CCD array scanner. For the two scanners we assessed the variation in optical density (OD) of GAFCHROMIC EBT film with scanning bed position, angular rotation of the film with respect to the scan line direction, and temperature inside the scanner due to repeated scanning. Scanning uniform radiochromic films demonstrated a distinct bowing effect in profiles in the direction of the CCD array with a nonuniformity of up to 17%. Profiles along a direction orthogonal to the CCD array demonstrated a 7% variation. A strong angular dependence was found in measurements made with the flatbed scanners; the effect could not be reproduced with the spot densitometer. An IMRT quality assurance film was scanned twice rotating the film 90' between the scans. For films scanned on the Epson scanner, up to 12% variation was observed in unirradiated EBT films rotated between 0 degrees and 90 degrees, which decreased to approximately 8% for EBT films irradiated to 300 cGy. Variations of up to 80% were observed for films scanned with the Microtek scanner. The scanners were found to significantly increase the film temperature with repeated scanning. Film temperature between 18 and 33 degrees C caused OD changes of approximately 7%. Considering these effects, we recommend adherence to a strict scanning protocol that includes: maintaining the orientation of films scanned on flatbed scanners, limiting scanning to the central portion of the scanner bed, and limiting the number of consecutive scans to minimize changes in OD caused by film heating.