Technical Note: EPID's response to 6 MV photons in a strong, parallel magnetic field

Med Phys. 2019 Jan;46(1):340-344. doi: 10.1002/mp.13285. Epub 2018 Dec 13.


Purpose: Electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) are potentially useful for dosimetric verification in integrated MRI-linac systems. This work presents the reproducibility, linearity, image lag, and radiation field profiles in a conventional EPID, with and without a 0.5 T parallel magnetic field present in a 6 MV photon beam.

Methods: An aS500 EPID was modified to function in strong magnetic fields. All measurements were made using the linac-MR installed at the Cross Cancer Institute. The EPID remained stationary on the couch between the measurements made with and without magnetic field. We measured short-term reproducibility of dark and flood fields, signal linearity from 1 to 500 MU irradiations, and image lag post 100 MU irradiation. An ion chamber was used to measure any linac output variations to correct the EPID signal due to these variations for the duration of experiment. X-axis and Y-axis radiation field profiles were obtained from the EPID image resulting from a 10 × 10 cm2 radiation field delivery.

Results: The average pixel value (±standard deviation) of flood field with and without magnetic fields were 57,876 ± 379 and 57,703 ± 366, respectively, and the corresponding average dark field pixel values were -32.05 ± 0.85 and -32.19 ± 0.97. The maximum difference in image linearity data with and without magnetic field is 0.2% which is well within the measurement uncertainty of 0.65%. Similarly, the image lag curves, with and without the magnetic field, were nearly identical. The first measured point, with mean lag signal of 1.44% without and 1.41% with magnetic field, shows that the largest difference is well below the uncertainty in the EPID signal measurement. The radiation field profiles obtained with and without magnetic fields were nearly identical; 91.3% of the X-axis and 95.2% of the Y-axis profile points pass a gamma criterion of 1% and 1 mm.

Conclusions: A conventional EPID imager with a 0.1 cm copper plate responds to 6 MV photons similarly irrespective of the strong magnetic field being off or on in the parallel orientation to the radiation beam. Thus, the EPID is a potentially useful tool for pretreatment dosimetric verification in linac-MR systems using parallel magnetic field.

Keywords: EPID; MRI-linac; linac-MR.

MeSH terms

  • Electrical Equipment and Supplies*
  • Equipment Design
  • Magnetic Fields*
  • Photons*