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Effect of Pulse Sequence Parameters On Geometric Distortions Induced by a Titanium Brachytherapy Applicator

S Shea

S Shea*, A Diak , M Surucu , M Harkenrider , J Yacoub , J Roeske , W Small , Loyola University Chicago and Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL


SU-E-J-207 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To investigate the effect of readout bandwidth and voxel size on the appearance of distortion artifacts caused by a titanium brachytherapy applicator.

Methods: An acrylic phantom was constructed to rigidly hold a MR conditional, titanium Fletcher-Suit-Delclos-style applicator set (Varian Medical Systems) for imaging on CT (Philips Brilliance) and 1.5T MRI (Siemens Magnetom Aera). Several variants of MRI parameters were tried for 2D T2-weighted turbo spin echo imaging in comparison against the standard clinical protocol with the criteria to keep relative SNR loss less than 20% and imaging time as short as possible. Two 3D sequences were also used for comparison with similar parameters. The applicator tandem was segmented on axial CT images (0.4x0.4x1.5mm³ resolution) and the CT images were registered to the 3D MR images in Eclipse (Varian). The applicator volume was then overlaid on all MRI sets in 3D-Slicer and distances were measured from the tandem tip to the MRI artifact edge in right/left/superior and anterior/posterior/superior directions from coronal and sagittal 2D acquisitions, respectively, or 3D data reformats. Artifact regions were also manually contoured in coronal/sagittal orientations for area measurements.

Results: As would be expected, reductions in voxel size and increases in readout bandwidth reduced artifact size (average max artifact length decreased by 0.95 mm and average max area decrease by 0.27 cm²). Interestingly, bandwidth increases yielded reductions in area (0.19 cm²) and in distance measurements (1 mm) even with voxel increases, as compared to a standard protocol. This could be useful when high performance protocols are not feasible due to long imaging times.

Conclusion: We have characterized artifacts caused by cervical brachytherapy applicator across multiple sequence parameters at 1.5T. Future work will focus on finalizing an optimal protocol that balances artifact reduction with imaging time and then testing this new protocol in patients.

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