Noise in polymer gel measurements using MRI
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With the development of conformal radiotherapy, particularly intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), there is a clear need for multidimensional dosimeters. A commercial polymerizing gel, BANG-2 gel (MGS Research, Inc., Guilford, CT), has recently been developed that shows potential as a multi-dimensional dosimeter. This study investigates and characterizes the noise and magnetic resonance (MR) artifacts from imaging BANG-2 gels. Seven cylindrical vials (4 cm diam, 20 cm length) were irradiated end on in a water bath and read using MRI (B0=1.5 T, TE=20 ms/100 ms, TR=3000 ms). The gel calibration compared the measured depth-dose distributions in water against the change in solvent-proton R2 relaxivity of the gel. A larger vial (13 cm diam, 14 cm length) was also irradiated to test the calibration accuracy in a vial of sufficient volume for dose distribution measurements. The calibration curve proved accurate to within 1.3% in determining the depth dose measured by the larger vial. An investigation of the voxel-to-voxel (IXIX 3 mm3) noise and sensitivity response curve showed that the voxel-to-voxel variation dominated the dose measurement uncertainty. The voxel-to-voxel standard deviation ranged from 0.2 Gy for the unirradiated gel to 0.7 Gy at 20 Gy. Slice-to-slice R2 magnitude deviations were also observed corresponding to 0.2 Gy. These variations limited the overall accuracy of the gel dose measurements and warrant an investigation of more accurate MR readout sequences.
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