Independent collimator dosimetry for a dual photon energy linear accelerator

Eric D. Slessinger, Russell L. Gerber, William B. Harms, Eric E. Klein, James A. Purdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: The independent collimator feature in medical linear accelerators can define radiation fields that are asymmetric with respect to the flattening filter and oblique to the incident surface. Prior to clinical implementation, it is necessary to evaluate the dosimetry of this non-standard treatment delivery technique. An investigation of the independent collimator dosimetry for 6 MV and 18 MV x-ray beams has been undertaken. Methods and Materials: Dose to tissue in free space, percent depth dose and dose distribution were measured and compared to that for symmetric field collimation. Results: The dosimetry results were consistent for both photon modes. Dose in free space with asymmetric collimation can be calculated from the corresponding symmetric field dose in free space to within 1.2 ± 0.7% by applying an appropriate off-axis factor. Asymmetric field percent depth dose differs from symmetric field percent depth dose on average by 1.1 ± 0.7% for 6 MV and by 0.7 ± 0.5% for 18 MV for field sizes ranging from 5 X 5 to 20 X 20, centered 3 cm and 10 cm off-axis. The measured isodose curves demonstrate divergence effects and reduced doses (less than 3%) adjacent to the field edge closest to the flattening filter center. This dose asymmetry result is identical to that from secondary collimation. Conclusion: The methodology for clinical implementation of the independent collimator feature is straightforward. However, accurate representation of the isodose distributions by commercial radiotherapy treatment planning systems requires special dose calculation algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-687
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 20 1993


  • Asymmetric collimators
  • Collimation
  • Dosimetry
  • Independent jaws


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