Initial application of a geometric QA tool for integrated MV and kV imaging systems on three image guided radiotherapy systems
Several linacs with integrated kilovoltage (kV) imaging have been developed for delivery of image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). High geometric accuracy and coincidence of kV imaging systems and megavoltage (MV) beam delivery are essential for successful image guidance. A geometric QA tool has been adapted for routine QA for evaluating and characterizing the geometric accuracy of kV and MV cone-beam imaging systems. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate the application of methodology to routine QA across three IGRT-dedicated linac platforms. It has been applied to a Varian Trilogy (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA), an Elekta SynergyS (Elekta, Stockholm, Sweden), and a Brainlab Vero (Brainlab AG, Feldkirchen, Germany). Both the Trilogy and SynergyS linacs are equipped with a retractable kV x-ray tube and a flat panel detector. The Vero utilizes a rotating, rigid ring structure integrating a MV x-ray head mounted on orthogonal gimbals, an electronic portal imaging device (EPID), two kV x-ray tubes, and two fixed flat panel detectors. This dual kV imaging system provides orthogonal radiographs, CBCT images, and real-time fluoroscopic monitoring. Two QA phantoms were built to suit different field sizes. Projection images of a QA phantom were acquired using MV and kV imaging systems at a series of gantry angles. Software developed for this study was used to analyze the projection images and calculate nine geometric parameters for each projection. The Trilogy was characterized five times over one year, while the SynergyS was characterized four times and the Vero once. Over 6500 individual projections were acquired and analyzed. Quantitative geometric parameters of both MV and kV imaging systems, as well as the isocenter consistency of the imaging systems, were successfully evaluated. A geometric tool has been successfully implemented for calibration and QA of integrated kV and MV across a variety of radiotherapy platforms. X-ray source angle deviations up to 0.8 degrees, and detector center offsets up to 3 mm, were observed for three linacs, with the exception of the Vero, for which a significant center offset of one kV detector (prior to machine commissioning) was observed. In contrast, the gimbal-based MV source positioning of the Vero demonstrated differences between observed and expected source positions of less than 0.2 mm, both with and without gimbal rotation. This initial application of this geometric QA tool shows promise as a universal, independent tool for quantitative evaluation of geometric accuracies of both MV and integrated kV imaging systems across a range of platforms. It provides nine geometric parameters of any imaging system at every gantry angle as well as the isocenter coincidence of the MV and kV image systems.