Characterization of optical transport effects on EPID dosimetry using Geant4
Purpose: Current amorphous silicon electronic portal imaging devices (a-Si EPIDs) that are frequently used in radiotherapy applications employ a metal platephosphor screen configuration to optimize x-ray detection efficiency. The phosphor acts to convert x rays into an optical signal that is detected by an underlying photodiode array. The dosimetric response of EPIDs has been well characterized, in part through the development of computational models. Such models, however, have generally made simplifying assumptions with regards to the transport of optical photons within these detectors. The goal of this work was to develop and experimentally validate a new Monte Carlo (MC) model of an a-Si EPID that simulates both x-ray and optical photon transport in a self-contained manner. Using this model the authors establish a definitive characterization of the effects of optical transport on the dosimetric response of a-Si EPIDs employing gadolinium oxysulfide phosphor screens. Methods: The Geant4 MC toolkit was used to develop a model of an a-Si EPID that employs standard electromagnetic and optical physics classes. The sensitivity of EPID response to uncertainties in optical transport parameters was evaluated by investigating their effects on the EPID point spread function (PSF). An optical blur kernel was also calculated to isolate the component of the PSF resulting purely from optical transport. A 6 MV photon source model was developed and integrated into the MC model to investigate EPID dosimetric response. Field size output factors and relative dose profiles were calculated for a set of open fields by separately scoring energy deposited in the phosphor and optical absorption events in the photodiode. These were then compared to quantify effects resulting from optical photon transport. The EPID model was validated against experimental measurements taken using a research EPID. Results: Optical photon scatter within the phosphor screen noticeably broadened the PSF. Variations in optical transport parameters reported in the literature caused fluctuations in the PSF full width at half maximum (FWHM) and full width at tenth maximum (FWTM) of less than 3 and 5, respectively, confirming model robustness. Greater deviations (up to 9.5 and 36 for FWHM and FWTM, respectively) were observed when optical parameters were largely different from reference values. When scoring energy deposition in the phosphor, measured and calculated output factors agreed within statistical uncertainties and at least 94 of the MC simulated profile data points passed 33 mm γ-index criterion for all field sizes considered. Despite statistical uncertainties in optical simulations arising from computational limitations, no differences were observed between optical and energy deposition profiles. Conclusions: Simulations demonstrated noticeable blurring of the EPID PSF when scoring optical absorption events in the photodiode relative to energy deposition in the phosphor. However, modeling the standard electromagnetic transport alone should suffice when using MC methods to predict EPID dose-response to static, open 6 MV fields with a standard a-Si photodiode array. Therefore, using energy deposition in the phosphor as a surrogate for EPID dose-response is a valid approach that should not require additional corrections for optical transport effects in current a-Si EPIDs employing phosphor screens. © 2013 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.