Characterization of a 2.5 MV inline portal imaging beam

James L. Gräfe, Jennifer Owen, J. Eduardo Villarreal-Barajas, Rao F.H. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A new megavoltage (MV) energy was recently introduced on Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators for imaging applications. This work describes the experimental characterization of a 2.5 MV inline portal imaging beam for commissioning, routine clinical use, and quality assurance purposes. The beam quality of the 2.5 MV beam was determined by measuring a percent depth dose, PDD, in water phantom for 10 × 10 cm2 field at source-to-surface distance 100 cm with a CC13 ion chamber, plane parallel Markus chamber, and GafChromic EBT3 film. Absolute dosimetric output calibration of the beam was performed using a traceable calibrated ionization chamber, following the AAPM Task Group 51 procedure. EBT3 film measurements were also performed to measure entrance dose. The output stability of the imaging beam was monitored for five months. Coincidence of 2.5 MV imaging beam with 6MV therapy beam was verified with hidden-target cubic phantom. Image quality was studied using the Leeds and QC3 phantom. The depth of maximum dose, dmax, and percent dose at 10 cm depth were, respectively, 5.7 mm and 51.7% for CC13, 6.1mm and 51.9% for Markus chamber, and 5.1 mm and 51.9% for EBT3 film. The 2.5 MV beam quality is slightly inferior to that of a 60Co teletherapy beam; however, an estimated kQ of 1.00 was used for output calibration purposes. The beam output was found to be stable to within 1% over a five-month period. The relative entrance dose as measured with EBT3 films was 63%, compared to 23% for a clinical 6 MV beam for a 10 × 10 cm2 field. Overall coincidence of the 2.5MV imaging beam with the 6 MV clinical therapy beam was within 0.2 mm. Image quality results for two commonly used imaging phantoms were superior for the 2.5 MV beam when compared to the conventional 6 MV beam. The results from measurements on two TrueBeam accelerators show that 2.5 MV imaging beam is slightly softer than a therapeutic 60Co beam, it provides superior image quality than a 6 MV therapy beam, and has excellent output stability. These 2.5 MV beam characterization results can serve as reference for clinics planning to commission and use this novel energy-image modality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-234
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016


  • 2.5 MV
  • Dosimetry
  • Image quality
  • Portal imaging
  • Radiation beam quality


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