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EPID-based verification of the MLC performance for dynamic IMRT and VMAT

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Barnes


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Purpose: In advanced radiotherapy treatments such as intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), verification of the performance of the multileaf collimator (MLC) is an essential part of the linac QA program. The purpose of this study is to use the existing measurement methods for geometric QA of the MLCs and extend them to more comprehensive evaluation techniques, and to develop dedicated robust algorithms to quantitatively investigate the MLC performance in a fast, accurate, and efficient manner. Methods: The behavior of leaves was investigated in the step-and-shoot mode by the analysis of integrated electronic portal imaging device (EPID) images acquired during picket fence tests at fixed gantry angles and arc delivery. The MLC was also studied in dynamic mode by the analysis of cine EPID images of a sliding gap pattern delivered in a variety of conditions including different leaf speeds, deliveries at fixed gantry angles or in arc mode, and changing the direction of leaf motion. The accuracy of the method was tested by detection of the intentionally inserted errors in the delivery patterns. Results: The algorithm developed for the picket fence analysis was able to find each individual leaf position, gap width, and leaf bank skewness in addition to the deviations from expected leaf positions with respect to the beam central axis with sub-pixel accuracy. For the three tested linacs over a period of 5 months, the maximum change in the gap width was 0.5 mm, the maximum deviation from the expected leaf positions was 0.1 mm and the MLC skewness was up to 0.2 degrees. The algorithm developed for the sliding gap analysis could determine the velocity and acceleration/deceleration of each individual leaf as well as the gap width. There was a slight decrease in the accuracy of leaf performance with increasing leaf speeds. The analysis results were presented through several graphs. The accuracy of the method was assessed as 0.01 mm for both the gap size and peak position determination. Conclusions: This study provides fast, easy, and accurate test methods for routine QA of the MLC performance and helps in faster troubleshooting of MLC problems in both IMRT and VMAT treatments. (C) 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. []

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rowshanfarzad P, Sabet M, Barnes MP, O'Connor DJ, Greer PB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medical Physics

Year: 2012

Volume: 39

Issue: 10

Pages: 6192-6207

Print publication date: 24/09/2012

ISSN (print): 0094-2405

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: American Association of Physicists in Medicine


DOI: 10.1118/1.4752207


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