Medical linac photon skyshine: Monte Carlo calculations and a methodology for estimates.
Journal of applied clinical medical physics
It has been shown that a widely quoted formula for estimating medical linac photon skyshine equivalent doses is erroneous. Monte Carlo calculations have been performed to develop an easy method for quickly and accurately estimating skyshine radiation levels and to gain improved physical insight into the skyshine phenomenon. Calculations of linac photon skyshine have been performed for 4, 6, 10, 15, and 18 MV beams for 10 × 10 cm2 and 40 × 40 cm2 fields and for a range of room dimensions and roof thicknesses. The effect of flattening filter free beams has been considered. Air kerma rates (AKRs) can be accurately fitted to a simple algebraic formula that is a function of the horizontal distance from the isocenter with a single energy dependent fitting parameter. The AKR, at a height of 1.3 m above level ground, reaches a local maximum at a distance dmax = 1.5dw + 1.1h, where dw is the horizontal distance from the isocenter to the outside of the side wall, and h is the vertical distance from the isocenter to the top of the roof. For thin roofs, low energy beams lead to significantly more skyshine than high energy beams because low energy photons are more easily scattered through large angles. In the absence of a roof, the maximum skyshine dose rate is on the order of 8 × 10-7 times the dose rate at isocenter. The average energy of the skyshine photons is about 0.15 MeV, and it is remarkably independent of almost all parameters. A simple methodology is outlined for the evaluation of photon skyshine.
McDermott PN. Medical linac photon skyshine: Monte Carlo calculations and a methodology for estimates. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2022 Apr;23(4):e13543. doi: 10.1002/acm2.13543. Epub 2022 Feb 14. PMID: 35157367; PMCID: PMC8992933.