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Volume 41, Issue 5, May 2014
A potential side effect of inline MRI-linac systems is electron contamination focusing causing a high skin dose. In this work, the authors reexamine this prediction for an open bore 1 T MRI system being constructed for the Australian MRI-Linac Program. The efficiency of an electron contamination deflector (ECD) in purging electron contamination from the linac head is modeled, as well as the impact of a helium gas region between the deflector and phantom surface for lowering the amount of air-generated contamination.Methods:
Magnetic modeling of the 1 T MRI was used to generate 3D magnetic field maps both with and without the presence of an ECD located immediately below the MLC’s. Forty-seven different ECD designs were modeled and for each the magnetic field map was imported into Geant4 Monte Carlo simulations including the linac head, ECD, and a 30 × 30 × 30 cm3 water phantom located at isocenter. For the first generation system, the x-ray source to isocenter distance (SID) will be 160 cm, resulting in an 81.2 cm long air gap from the base of the ECD to the phantom surface. The first 71.2 cm was modeled as air or helium gas, with the latter encased between two windows of 50 μm thick high density polyethlyene. 2D skin doses (at 70 μm depth) were calculated across the phantom surface at 1 × 1 mm2 resolution for 6 MV beams of field size of 5 × 5, 10 × 10, and 20 × 20 cm2.Results:
The skin dose was predicted to be of similar magnitude as the generic systems modeled in previous work, 230% to 1400% of for 5 × 5 to 20 × 20 cm2, respectively. Inclusion of the ECD introduced a nonuniformity to the MRI imaging field that ranged from ∼20 to ∼140 ppm while the net force acting on the ECD ranged from ∼151 N to ∼1773 N. Various ECD designs were 100% efficient at purging the electron contamination into the ECD magnet banks; however, a small percentage were scattered back into the beam and continued to the phantom surface. Replacing a large portion of the extended air-column between the ECD and phantom surface with helium gas is a key element as it significantly minimized the air-generated contamination. When using an optimal ECD and helium gas region, the 70 μm skin dose is predicted to increase moderately inside a small hot spot over that of the case with no magnetic field present for the jaw defined square beams examined here. These increases include from 12% to 40% of for 5 × 5 cm2, 18% to 55% of for 10 × 10 cm2, and from 23% to 65% of for 20 × 20 cm2.Conclusions:
Coupling an efficient ECD and helium gas region below the MLCs in the 160 cm isocenter MRI-linac system is predicted to ameliorate the impact electron contamination focusing has on skin dose increases. An ECD is practical as its impact on the MRI imaging distortion is correctable, and the mechanical forces acting on it manageable from an engineering point of view.
Practicing and aspiring medical physicists can safely disregard university rankings at no peril to them41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4866835View Description Hide Description