On the validity of 3D polymer gel dosimetry: III. MRI-related error sources

Jan Vandecasteele*, Yves De Deene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


In MRI (PAGAT) polymer gel dosimetry, there exists some controversy on the validity of 3D dose verifications of clinical treatments. The relative contribution of important sources of uncertainty in MR scanning to the overall accuracy and precision of 3D MRI polymer gel dosimetry is quantified in this study. The performance in terms of signal-to-noise and imaging artefacts was evaluated on three different MR scanners (two 1.5 T and a 3 T scanner). These include: (1) B0-field inhomogeneity, (2) B1-field inhomogeneity, (3) dielectric effects (losses and standing waves) and (4) temperature inhomogeneity during scanning. B0-field inhomogeneities that amount to maximum 5ppm result in dose deviations of up to 4.3% and deformations of up to 5 pixels. Compensation methods are proposed. B1-field inhomogeneities were found to induce R2 variations in large anthropomorphic phantoms both at 1.5 and 3 T. At 1.5 T these effects are mainly caused by the coil geometry resulting in dose deviations of up to 25%. After the correction of the R2 maps using a heuristic flip angle-R2 relation, these dose deviations are reduced to 2.4%. At 3 T, the dielectric properties of the gel phantoms are shown to strongly influence B1-field homogeneity, hence R2 homogeneity, especially of large anthropomorphic phantoms. The low electrical conductivity of polymer gel dosimeters induces standing wave patterns resulting in dose deviations up to 50%. Increasing the conductivity of the gel by adding NaCl reduces the dose deviation to 25% after which the post-processing is successful in reducing the remaining inhomogeneities caused by the coil geometry to within 2.4%. The measurements are supported by computational modelling of the B1-field. Finally, temperature fluctuations of 1 °C frequently encountered in clinical MRI scanners result in dose deviations up to 15%. It is illustrated that with adequate temperature stabilization, the dose uncertainty is reduced to within 2.58%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-85
Number of pages23
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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