Superficial X-rays

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Superficial X-rays
ICD-9: 92.21

Superficial X-rays are low energy X-rays that do not penetrate very far before they are absorbed. They are produced by x-ray units operating at voltages in the 35–60kV range, and therefore have an energy in the 35–60keV range (see External beam radiotherapy for an explanation of the maximum and mean energies as a function of voltage). They are useful in radiation therapy for the treatment of various benign or malignant skin problems, and have a useful depth of a couple of millimetres — certainly not more than 5 mm.[1]

By convention, the voltage is used to characterize X- and gamma-ray beams (in volts), whilst electron beams are characterized by their energies (in electronvolts).


  1. ^ Robin Hill, Brendan Healy, Lois Holloway, Zdenka Kuncic, David Thwaites and Clive Baldock, "Advances in kilovoltage x-ray beam dosimetry", Physics in Medicine and Biology, vol 59 no 6