Quality assurance of the multileaf collimator with helical tomotherapy: Design and implementation

Vikren Sarkar, Lan Lin, Chengyu Shi, Niko Papanikolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Quality assurance (QA) of the multileaf collimator (MLC) is a critical step for the delivery of intensity modulated radiation therapy treatment plan. While QA procedures for motor-driven MLC have been published extensively, those for binary MLCs such as the one used for helical tomotherapy have not been presented in the literature, as this is still a fairly new technology. In this study, seven test patterns for the MLC QA of a helical tomotherapy unit have been designed and implemented. The seven test patterns check the MLC alignment, MLC leakage, MLC timing and MLC leaf position error in detail. Those patterns can be easily implemented in any center with a helical tomotherapy unit as part of the routine QA. The QA procedures can be performed using existing QA resources such as solid water phantom and EDR2 film. A software toolkit called "Tomo MLC QA" has been developed to assist in generating the QA procedures and analyzing the results. Our results showed that the helical tomotherapy MLC is very robust, exhibiting interleaf leakage of 0.53%±0.09%. Several issues with the MLC have been found and discussed. The QA results also illustrate the utilization and usefulness of the proposed QA procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2949-2956
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2007


  • MLC
  • Pattern
  • Procedure
  • QA
  • Tomotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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