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NOTE: Test 3 material begins on 11/3/2010


Material today not on first exam

Lecture #9 SAR Calculations

SAR: Scatter Air Ratio (aka Clarkson Scatter Technique. Jack Cunningham)

3 components of radiation beam:
primary (unattenuated)
scatter off collimators
scatter from inside phantom / patient

SAR: Can we somehow take away the primary and figure out what the scatter is? Then figure
out Primary + scatter = total.
+ SAR = TAR.

Measuring %dd, we use square fields. In clinic--we use rectangles. How to fit with square field
data? Effective Area.
How to fit blocked fields? Same--forced some relationship to fit it to square data. This really
runs into problems when we have a mantle in Hodgkins. Nodes in neck, axilla, superclav,
mediastinum, diaphraghm. We want to block the lungs.

splash, flash, or Spilloff = name we call the flash of a radiation field off the body
part. There is no scatter medium there--consider it to be blocked. Highly irregular
field. Physician wants to know dose at central ray and the nodes = multi-unknown problem.

In most treatment planning computers you see 3-d, brachytherapy, and Irregular field (what we
are talking about).


Draw radii. Label each one--look up in SAR table. Along left hand side--treatment depth. For
different radii and treatment depth, we have different SAR values.

Central ray:
TD = 100 rads
depth = 12cm
32 x 32 collimator size
SSD = 80cm
Treat over 2 week period

Look up 32x32 collimator -- guess ~90rad/min (didnt look that up)
decay: 17 + 7 = 24 days = 0.9914
Time = TD / TDR = 100 rads/(Output @



Need to look up SAR for each radii -- ~ 12 times. Sum of all the SARs / number of radii =
average SAR. Now we have TAR = TAR
. Now we need to know TAR
. This is the
primary component of the radiation beam (contains no scatter). Left most column of SAR table =
0x0 field size = theoretically no scatter. That number is function of the energy and the
depth. TAR
= 0.469.

Now we can find

Need to know field size and field radii @ depth! The depth is at SSD + 12 (92cm). Have to
either have the drawing at 92cm or convert it to that. Suppose drawing taken at 80. r
16cm. The actual radii you look up on the table is 16cm * 92/80. Nobody has a drawing that you
can just measure off the radii. You always need to do the ratio.

Cant look up average radius and then look up SAR. Have to do every radius.

Throw a little difficulty:

Try to find total scatter from a ray that goes through a block