Improving the modelling of susceptibility-induced spatial distortions in MRI-guided extra-cranial radiotherapy

Phys Med Biol. 2019 Oct 10;64(20):205006. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab447c.


Magnetic-resonance linear-accelerator (MR-LINAC) systems integrating in-room magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) guidance are a currently emerging technology. Such systems address the need to provide frequent imaging at optimal soft-tissue contrast for treatment guidance. However, the use of MRI-guidance in radiotherapy should address imaging-related spatial distortions, which may hinder accurate geometrical characterization of the treatment site. Since spatial encoding relies on well-defined magnetic fields, accurate modeling of the magnetic field alterations due to [Formula: see text]-inhomogeneities, gradient nonlinearities, and susceptibilities is needed. In this work, the modeling of susceptibility induced distortions is considered. Dedicated susceptibility measurements are reported, aiming at extending the characterization of different tissues for MRI-guided extra-cranial radiotherapy applications. A digital 4D anthropomorphic phantom, providing time-resolved anatomical changes due to breathing, is exploited as reference anatomy to quantify spatial distortions due to variations in tissue susceptibility. Sub-millimeter values can be attributed to susceptibility-induced distortions, with maximum values up to 2.3 mm at a gradient strength of 5 mT m-1. Improvements in susceptibility simulation for extra-cranial sites are shown when including specifically the contributions from lung, liver and muscular tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Liver / radiation effects
  • Lung / radiation effects
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / radiation effects
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods*
  • Respiration
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Swine