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Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Small Fiducial Markers for Proton Beam Therapy

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Y Hu

Y Hu*, J James , A Panda , C Vargas , A Silva , W Liu , J Shen , X Ding , R Paden , J Hanson , W Wong , S Schild , M Bues , Mayo Clinic, Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ


SU-E-J-229 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: For proton beam therapy, small fiducial markers are preferred for patient alignment due to less interference with the proton beam. Visualizing small fiducial markers can be challenging in MRI. This study intends to investigate MRI imaging protocols for better visualization of small fiducial markers.

Methods: Two carbon and two coil-shaped gold markers were placed into a gel phantom. Both carbon markers had a diameter of 1mm and a length of 3mm. Both gold markers had a length of 5mm. One gold marker had a diameter of 0.5mm and the other had a diameter of 0.75mm. T1 VIBE, T2 SPACE, TrueFISP and susceptibility weighted (SW) images were acquired. To improve marker contrast, high spatial resolution was used to reduce partial volume effect. Slice thickness was 1.5mm for all four sequences and in-plane resolution was 0.6mm for TrueFISP, 0.7mm for T1 VIBE, and 0.8mm for T2 SPACE and SW. For comparison purpose, a 3D T1 VIBE image set at 3mm slice thickness and 1.2mm in-plane resolution was also acquired.

Results: All markers were visible in all high-resolution image sets. In each image set, marker-induced signal void was the smallest (in diameter) for carbon markers, followed by the 0.5mm gold marker and the largest for the 0.75mm gold marker. The SW images had the largest marker-induced signal void. However, those might be confused by susceptibility-gradient-induced signal voids. T1 VIBE had good visualization of markers with nicely defined edges. T2 SPACE had reasonable visualization of markers but edges were slightly blurred. TrueFISP had good visualization of markers only if they were not masked by banding artifacts. As a comparison, all markers were hardly visible in the standard resolution T1 VIBE images.

Conclusion: 3D high-resolution T1 VIBE and SW have great potential in providing good visualization of small fiducial markers for proton beam therapy.

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