Abstract Background and purpose: To determine the accuracy of two-dimensional exit dose measurements with an electronic portal imaging device, EPID, using a convolution model for a variety of clinically relevant situations. Materials and methods: Exit doses were derived from portal dose images, obtained with a liquid-filled EPID at distances of 50 cm or more behind the patient, by using a convolution model. The resulting on- and off-axis exit dose values were first compared with ionization chamber exit dose measurements for homogeneous and inhomogeneous phantoms in open and wedged 4,8 and 18 MV photon beams. The accuracy of the EPID exit dose measurements was then determined for a number of anthropomorphic phantoms (lung and larynx) irradiated under clinical conditions and for a few patients treated in an 8 MV beam. The latter results were compared with in vivo exit dose measurements using diodes. Results: The exit dose can be determined from portal images with an accuracy of 1.2% (1 SD) compared with ionization chamber measurements for open beams and homogeneous phantoms at all tested beam qualities. In the presence of wedges and for inhomogeneous phantoms the average relative accuracy slightly deteriorated to 1.7% (1 SD). For lung phantoms in a 4 MV beam a similar accuracy was obtained after refinement of our convolution model, which requires knowledge of the patient contour. Differences between diode and EPID exit dose measurements for an anthropomorphic lung phantom in an 8 MV beam were 2.5% at most, with an average agreement within 1 % (1 SD). For larynx phantoms in a 4 MV beam exit doses obtained with an ionization chamber and EPID agreed within 1.5% (1 SD). Finally, exit doses in a few patients irradiated in an 8 MV beam could be determined with the EPID with an accuracy of 1.1 % (1 SD) relative to exit dose measurements using diodes. Conclusions: Portal images, obtained with our EPID and analyzed with our convolution model, can be used to determine the exit dose distribution with an accuracy of 1.7% (1 SD) for most clinically relevant situations. EPID exit dosimetry is therefore a good alternative for diode dosimetry. The EPID system is a powerful tool in a dosimetric quality control programme during high dose/high precision radiotherapy.