The linear accelerator mechanical and radiation isocentre assessment with an electronic portal imaging device (EPID)

Research paper by G. Liu, T. van Doorn, E. Bezak

Indexed on: 01 Sep '04Published on: 01 Sep '04Published in: Australasian physical & engineering sciences in medicine / supported by the Australasian College of Physical Scientists in Medicine and the Australasian Association of Physical Sciences in Medicine


Regular checks on the performance of radiotherapy treatment units are essential and a variety of protocols has been published. These protocols identify that the determination of isocentre must be accurate and unambiguous since both the localization of a radiation field on a patient and positioning aids are referenced to it. An EPID (BIS 710) with a combined light and radiation scintillation detector screen was used to assess mechanical and radiation isocentres for different collimator and gantry angles. Crosshair positions within light field images were determined from fitted Gaussian intensity profiles and then used to calculate the displacement of the mechanical isocentre. For comparison, the position of the crosshair was also recorded on a graph paper. The radiation field centre was first calculated from the set up geometry for given gantry/collimator angles and then compared with measured values to assess the displacement of the radiation isocentre. The radiation isocentre was also checked by locating a marker, positioned on the couch, on the EPID radiation images for different treatment couch angles. The mechanical and radiation isocentres were determined from the EPID light field and radiation images respectively with an accuracy of 0.3 mm using simple PC based programs. The study has demonstrated the feasibility of using the EPID to assess mechanical and radiation isocentres of a linear accelerator in a quick and efficient way with a higher degree of accuracy achieved as compared to more conventional methods, e.g. the star shot.