Pinnacle3 modeling and end-to-end dosimetric testing of a Versa HD linear accelerator with the Agility head and flattening filter-free modes

Daniel L. Saenz, Ganesh Narayanasamy, Wilbert Cruz, Nikos Papanikolaou, Sotirios Stathakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Elekta Versa HD incorporates a variety of upgrades to the line of Elekta linear accelerators, primarily including the Agility head and flattening filter-free (FFF) photon beam delivery. The completely distinct dosimetric output of the head from its predecessors, combined with the FFF beams, requires a new investigation of modeling in treatment planning systems. A model was created in Pinnacle3 v9.8 with the commissioned beam data. A phantom consisting of several plastic water and Styrofoam slabs was scanned and imported into Pinnacle3, where beams of different field sizes, source-to-surface distances (SSDs), wedges, and gantry angles were devised. Beams included all of the available photon energies (6, 10, 18, 6FFF, and 10 FFF MV), as well as the four electron energies commissioned for clinical use (6, 9, 12, and 15 MeV). The plans were verified at calculation points by measurement with a calibrated ionization chamber. Homogeneous and heterogeneous point-dose measurements agreed within 2% relative to maximum dose for all photon and electron beams. AP photon open field measurements along the central axis at 100 cm SSD passed within 1%. In addition, IMRT testing was also performed with three standard plans (step and shoot IMRT, as well as a small- and large-field VMAT plan). The IMRT plans were delivered on the Delta4 IMRT QA phantom, for which a gamma passing rate was > 99.5% for all plans with a 3% dose deviation, 3 mm distance-to-agreement, and 10% dose threshold. The IMRT QA results for the first 23 patients yielded gamma passing rates of 97.4% ± 2.3%. Such testing ensures confidence in the ability of Pinnacle3 to model photon and electron beams with the Agility head.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-206
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Beam modeling
  • End-to-end testing
  • Quality assurance
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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