An Investigation into EPID Flood Fields Independent from the Linear Accelerator Beam
Thesis DisciplineMedical Physics
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The EPID (electronic portal imaging device) was designed for in vivo imaging of patients during radiotherapy treatment. The ability of EPIDs to promptly acquire two dimensional data, lends them to be considered for use in quality assurance of the linac. This thesis set out to investigate the possibility of using a radionuclide, technetium 99 m (Tc99m), to produce a flood field for the calibration of an EPID, because using a beam calibrated EPID to measure the beam is self-referential. The difference in relative response between the energy spectrum of a 6MV beam and the Tc99m was investigated using EGSNRC DoseXYZ Monte Carlo Modelling. The relative output ratio was calculated to be less than 1.6%. The dose response of the EPID with respect to dose rate was checked using different activities of Tc99m and found to be linear. The flatness from a phantom was calculated, with a model in MATLAB, for a range of heights, overlaps, thickness, and deformations, to find the optimum balances between signal strength and flatness. This model was checked for accuracy using diagnostic radiographic film. The culmination of the energy response, linearity and the calculated flatness is a flood field taken with a flood phantom on the EPID with low signal strength. To get a signal to noise ratio of 3% the mean of over 2000 flood field images were used. This accuracy was not adequate for clinical use but the averaging of pixels it is accurate enough for QA.