Megavoltage versus kilovoltage image guidance for efficiency and accuracy in head and neck IMRT

D. Willis, C. Fox, A. Haworth, A. Rolfo, A. Herschtal, T. Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Accurate patient positioning is vitally important in intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for head and neck (H&N) cancer. The introduction of kilovoltage (kV) on-board imaging (OBI) at our centre was anticipated to improve the accuracy and efficiency of H&N IMRT patient position verification over traditional megavoltage (MV) electronic portal imaging (EPI). This study compares these imaging systems with a phantom accuracy study and retrospective analysis of imaging workload in H&N IMRT at our centre. Six therapists performed online evaluation of phantom images, and residual positional errors for each system were recorded. The largest residual error was 1 mm for OBI and 3 mm for EPI. The estimated improvement in residual error in OBI over EPI was 0.57 mm (95% confidence interval 0.33-0.81 mm), suggesting treatment staff would be better able to detect set-up deviations with OBI. Electronic treatment records of 20 H&N IMRT patients (10 verified daily with MV EPI and 10 with kV OBI) were analysed. Mean imaging session duration was 9.51 min for EPI and 9.76 min for OBI. Analysis found no evidence of an effect on duration due to the imaging system used for this subset of patients (p = 0.664).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radiotherapy in Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Head and neck
  • IMRT
  • KV verification imaging
  • Radiation therapy

Cite this