Soft X rays: The alternative?

John D. Altman, Dieter Lubbe, Scott Stafford, David R. Holmes, Robert S. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intravascular radiation therapy to prevent restenosis remains promising and is currently undergoing large randomized clinical trials. Intravascular brachytherapy sources include beta particles, gamma rays, and now, soft X rays. The presented, but unpublished data from the START trial indicate that beta radiation is effective in the treatment of in-stent restenosis. However, the limited range of beta particles in tissue increase the complexity for treating large arteries, more dose asymmetry with imperfect centering, and the potential for shadowing when treating calcified or stented arteries. These dosing problems are avoided with high energy gamma rays, but at a cost of increased radiation exposure. Soft X rays generated by high voltage, miniaturized x-ray tubes may be turned off at will, pose little radiation exposure risk to medical personnel, provide a satisfactory dose profile to the artery, and do not require special use licensing. The higher LET and RBE for soft X rays indicates that lower doses may be as effective. Soft x-ray sources will permit a new therapy to enter the expanding discipline of vascular brachytherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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