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Treatment of Uncertainties in Radiation Dosimetry



Michael G. Mitch, Larry DeWerd, Ronaldo Minniti, J Williamson


When one perform a physical measurement or a Monte Carlo simulation and obtains a numerical result, the following questions may be asked. How accurate is the result? Is the measurement or simulation method of high quality? Can the result be meaningfully compared with those of other laboratories, including primary standards laboratories? To answer these questions, it is necessary to assign an uncertainty to the result of the measurement of calculation. The uncertainty represents how confident the investigator is that the result is indicative of the "true" value of the quantity they e attempting to determine. Performing a rigorous uncertainty analysis is a critical element of the science of metrology, as it provides not only a means of assessing the quality of a measurements or calculation but allows a quantitative comparison of results to be made. In the sections that follow, the methods for determining uncertainties will be discussed, along with how these methods are applied to the calculation of uncertainties in dosimetry measurements and calculations, for primary standards to clinical practice.
Clinical Dosimetry Measurements in Radiotherapy
Publisher Info
AAPM, College Park, MD


absorbed dose, brachytherapy, dosimetry, external beam, uncertainty


Mitch, M. , DeWerd, L. , Minniti, R. and Williamson, J. (2009), Treatment of Uncertainties in Radiation Dosimetry, Clinical Dosimetry Measurements in Radiotherapy, AAPM, College Park, MD, [online], (Accessed February 24, 2024)
Created August 18, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017