Optimization of image quality and dose for Varian aS500 electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs)

M W D Grattan, V P Cosgrove, Conor McGarry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study was carried out to investigate whether the electronic portal imaging (EPI) acquisition process could be optimized, and as a result tolerance and action levels be set for the PIPSPro QC-3V phantom image quality assessment. The aim of the optimization process was to reduce the dose delivered to the patient while maintaining a clinically acceptable image quality. This is of interest when images are acquired in addition to the planned patient treatment, rather than images being acquired using the treatment field during a patient's treatment. A series of phantoms were used to assess image quality for different acquisition settings relative to the baseline values obtained following acceptance testing. Eight Varian aS500 EPID systems on four matched Varian 600C/D linacs and four matched Varian 2100C/D linacs were compared for consistency of performance and images were acquired at the four main orthogonal gantry angles. Images were acquired using a 6 MV beam operating at 100 MU min(-1) and the low-dose acquisition mode. Doses used in the comparison were measured using a Farmer ionization chamber placed at d(max) in solid water. The results demonstrated that the number of reset frames did not have any influence on the image contrast, but the number of frame averages did. The expected increase in noise with corresponding decrease in contrast was also observed when reducing the number of frame averages. The optimal settings for the low-dose acquisition mode with respect to image quality and dose were found to be one reset frame and three frame averages. All patients at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre are now imaged using one reset frame and three frame averages in the 6 MV 100 MU min(-1) low-dose acquisition mode. Routine EPID QC contrast tolerance (+/-10) and action (+/-20) levels using the PIPSPro phantom based around expected values of 190 (Varian 600C/D) and 225 (Varian 2100C/D) have been introduced. The dose at dmax from electronic portal imaging has been reduced by approximately 28%, and while the image quality has been reduced, the images produced are still clinically acceptable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6865-77
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 07 Dec 2007


  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Equipment Design
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • X-Ray Intensifying Screens
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimization of image quality and dose for Varian aS500 electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this