Gantry and isocenter displacements of a linear accelerator caused by an add-on micromultileaf collimator




The delivery of high quality stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) treatments to the patient requires knowledge of the position of the isocenter to submillimeter accuracy. To meet the requirements the deviation between the radiation and mechanical isocenters must be less than 1 mm. The use of add-on micromultileaf collimators (μMLCs) in SRS and SRT is an additional challenge to the anticipated high-level geometric and dosimetric accuracy of the treatment. The aim of this work was to quantify the gantry excursions during rotation with and without an add-on μMLC attached to the gantry head. In addition, the shift in the position of the isocenter and its correlation to the kV beam center of the cone-beam CT system was included in the study.


The quantification of the gantry rotational performance was done using a pointer supported by an in-house made rigid holder attached to the gantry head of the accelerator. The pointer positions were measured using a digital theodolite. To quantify the effect of an μMLC of 50 kg, the measurements were repeated with the μMLC attached to the gantry head. The displacement of the isocenter due to an add-on μMLC of 50 kg was also investigated. In case of the pointer measurement the μMLC was simulated by weights attached to the gantry head. A method of least squares was applied to determine the position and displacement of the mechanical isocenter. Additionally, the displacement of the radiation isocenter was measured using a ball-bearing phantom and the electronic portal image device system. These measurements were based on 8 MV photon beams irradiated onto the ball from the four cardinal angles and two opposed collimator angles. The measurements and analysis of the data were carried out automatically using software delivered by the manufacturer.


The displacement of the mechanical isocenter caused by a 50 kg heavy μMLC was found to be (−0.01 ± 0.05, −0.10 ± 0.03, −0.26 ± 0.05) mm in lateral, longitudinal, and vertical direction, respectively. Similarly, the displacement of the radiation isocenter was found to be (0.00 ± 0.03, −0.08 ± 0.06, −0.32 ± 0.02) mm. Good agreement was found between the displacement of the two isocenters. A displacement of the kV cone-beam CT beam center due to the attached weight of 50 kg could not be detected.


General characteristics of the gantry arm excursions and displacements caused by an add-on μMLC have been reported. A 50 kg heavy add-on μMLC results in a isocenter displacement downward of 0.26–0.32 mm. The authors recommend that the beam center of the kV cone-beam CT image system should be matched to the isocenter related to the weight of the μMLC. Consequently, the imperfections in isocenter localizations are transferred to the conventional radiotherapy where the clinical consequences of uncertainties in the submillimeter regime are negligible.