Improved leaf sequencing reduces segments or monitor units needed to deliver IMRT using multileaf collimators

M. Langer, V. Thai, L. Papiez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


Leaf sequencing algorithms may use an unnecessary number of monitor units or segments to generate intensity maps for delivery of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) using multiple static fields. An integer algorithm was devised to generate a sequence with the fewest possible segments when the minimum number of monitor units are used. Special hardware related restrictions on leaf motion can be incorporated. The algorithm was tested using a benchmark map from the literature and clinical examples. Results were compared to sequences given by the routine of Bortfeld that minimizes monitor units by treating each row independently, and the areal or reducing routines that use fewer segments at the price of more monitor units. The Bortfeld algorithm used on average 58% more segments than provided by the integer algorithm with bidirectional motion and 32% more segments than did an integer algorithm admitting only unidirectional sequences. The areal algorithm used 48% more monitor units and the reducing algorithm used 23% more monitor units than did the bidirectional integer algorithm, while the areal and reducing algorithms used 23% more segments than did the integer algorithm. Improved leaf sequencing algorithms can allow more efficient delivery of static field IMRT. The integer algorithm demonstrates the efficiencies possible with an improved routine and opens a new avenue for development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2450-2458
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Integer programming
  • Intensity modulated radiotherapy
  • Leaf sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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