Patient dosimetry for hybrid MRI-radiotherapy systems

Med Phys. 2008 Mar;35(3):1019-27. doi: 10.1118/1.2839104.


A novel geometry has been proposed for a hybrid magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-linac system in which a 6 MV linac is mounted on the open end of a biplanar, low field (0.2 T) MRI magnet on a single gantry that is free to rotate around the patient. This geometry creates a scenario in which the magnetic field vector remains fixed with respect to the incident photon beam, but moves with respect to the patient as the gantry rotates. Other proposed geometries are characterized by a radiation source rotating about a fixed cylindrical magnet where the magnetic field vector remains fixed with respect to the patient. In this investigation we simulate the inherent dose distribution patterns within the two MRI-radiation source geometries using PENELOPE and EGSnrc Monte Carlo radiation transport codes with algorithms implemented to account for the magnetic field deflection of charged particles. Simulations are performed in phantoms and for clinically realistic situations. The novel geometry results in a net Lorentz force that remains fixed with respect to the patient (in the cranial-caudal direction) and results in a cumulative influence on dose distribution for a multiple beam treatment scenario. For a case where patient anatomy is reasonably homogeneous (brain plan), differences in dose compared to a conventional (no magnetic field) case are minimal for the novel geometry. In the case of a lung plan where the inhomogeneous patient anatomy allows for the magnetic field to have significant influence on charged particle transport, larger differences occur in a predictable manner. For a system using a fixed cylindrical geometry and higher magnetic field (1.5 T), differences from the case without a magnetic field are significantly greater.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Brain / surgery
  • Cobalt Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Lung / surgery
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetics
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiometry
  • Radiotherapy / methods*


  • Cobalt Radioisotopes