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Title: Measuring linac photon beam energy through EPID image analysis of physically wedged fields

Purpose: Electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) have proven to be useful tools for measuring several parameters of interest in linac quality assurance (QA). However, a method for measuring linac photon beam energy using EPIDs has not previously been reported. In this report, such a method is devised and tested, based on fitting a second order polynomial to the profiles of physically wedged beams, where the metric of interest is the second order coefficientα. The relationship between α and the beam quality index [percentage depth dose at 10 cm depth (PDD{sub 10})] is examined to produce a suitable calibration curve between these two parameters. Methods: Measurements were taken in a water-tank for beams with a range of energies representative of the local QA tolerances about the nominal value 6 MV. In each case, the beam quality was found in terms of PDD{sub 10} for 100 × 100 mm{sup 2} square fields. EPID images of 200 × 200 mm{sup 2} wedged fields were then taken for each beam and the wedge profile was fitted in MATLAB 2010b (The MathWorks, Inc., Natick, MA). α was then plotted against PDD{sub 10} and fitted with a linear relation to produce the calibration curve. The uncertaintymore » in α was evaluated by taking five repeat EPID images of the wedged field for a beam of 6 MV nominal energy. The consistency of measuring α was found by taking repeat measurements on a single linac over a three month period. The method was also tested at 10 MV by repeating the water-tank crosscalibration for a range of energies centered approximately about a 10 MV nominal value. Finally, the calibration curve from the test linac and that from a separate clinical machine were compared to test consistency of the method across machines in a matched fleet. Results: The relationship betweenα and PDD{sub 10} was found to be strongly linear (R{sup 2} = 0.979) while the uncertainty in α was found to be negligible compared to that associated with measuring PDD{sub 10} in the water-tank (±0.3%). The repeat measurements over a three month period showed the method to be reasonably consistent (i.e., well within the limits defined by local QA tolerances). The measurements were repeated on a matched machine and the same linear relationship between α and PDD{sub 10} was observed. The results for both machines were found to be indistinguishable across the energy range of interest (i.e., across and close to the thresholds defined by local QA tolerances), hence a single relation could be established across a matched fleet. Finally, the experiment was repeated on both linacs at 10 MV, where the linear relationship between α and PDD{sub 10} was again observed. Conclusions: The authors conclude that EPID image analysis of physically wedged beam profiles can be used to measure linac photon beam energy. The uncertainty in such a measurement is dominated by that associated with measuring PDD{sub 10} in the water-tank; hence, the accuracies of these two methods are directly comparable. This method provides a useful technique for quickly performing energy constancy measurements while saving significant clinical downtime for QA.« less
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  1. Department of Medical Physics and Engineering, St. James Institute of Oncology, St. James University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF (United Kingdom)
  2. Institute of Medical Physics, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia and Department of Medical Physics and Engineering, St. James Institute of Oncology, St. James University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States