Quality assurance device for four-dimensional IMRT or SBRT and respiratory gating using patient-specific intrafraction motion kernels

Benjamin E. Nelms, Eric Ehler, Henry Bragg, Wolfgang A. Tomé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Emerging technologies such as four-dimensional computed tomography (4D CT) and implanted beacons are expected to allow clinicians to accurately model intrafraction motion and to quantitatively estimate internal target volumes (ITVs) for radiation therapy involving moving targets. In the case of intensity-modulated (IMRT) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) delivery, clinicians must consider the interplay between the temporal nature of the modulation and the target motion within the ITV. A need exists for a 4D IMRT/SBRT quality assurance (QA) device that can incorporate and analyze customized intrafraction motion as it relates to dose delivery and respiratory gating. We built a 4D IMRT/SBRT prototype device and entered (X, Y, Z)(T) coordinates representing a motion kernel into a software application that. 1. transformed the kernel into beam-specific two-dimensional (2D) motion 2:projections," 2. previewed the motion in real time, and 3. drove a precision X-Y motorized device that had, atop it, a mounted planar IMRT QA measurement device. The detectors that intersected the target in the beam's-eye-view of any single phase of the breathing cycle (a small subset of all the detectors) were defined as "target detectors" to be analyzed for dose uniformity between multiple fractions. Data regarding the use of this device to quantify dose variation fraction-to -fraction resulting from target motion (for several delivery modalities and with and without gating) have been recently published. A combined software and hardware solution for patient-customized 4D IMRT/SBRT QA is an effective tool for assessing IMRT delivery under conditions of intrafraction motion. The 4D IMRT QA device accurately reproduced the projected motion kernels for all beam's-eye-view motion kernels. This device has been proved to • effectively quantify the degradation in dose uniformity resulting from a moving target within a static planning target volume, and • integrate with a commercial respiratory gating system to ensure that the system is working effectively. Such a device is discussed as a potential tool to optimize the gating duty cycle to maximize delivery efficiency while minimizing dose variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-168
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 4D
  • IMRT
  • ITV
  • Intrafraction motion
  • Quality assurance
  • SBRT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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