Monte Carlo study of the impact of a magnetic field on the dose distribution in MRI-guided HDR brachytherapy using Ir-192

Beld, E, Seevinck, P R, Lagendijk, J J W, Viergever, M A, Moerland, M A


Physics in Medicine and Biology 61 (18), p. 6791-6807


In the process of developing a robotic MRI-guided high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy treatment, the influence of the MRI scanner's magnetic field on the dose distribution needs to be investigated. A magnetic field causes a deflection of electrons in the plane perpendicular to the magnetic field, and it leads to less lateral scattering along the direction parallel with the magnetic field. Monte Carlo simulations were carried out to determine the influence of the magnetic field on the electron behavior and on the total dose distribution around an Ir-192 source. Furthermore, the influence of air pockets being present near the source was studied. The Monte Carlo package Geant4 was utilized for the simulations. The simulated geometries consisted of a simplified point source inside a water phantom. Magnetic field strengths of 0 T, 1.5 T, 3 T, and 7 T were considered. The simulation results demonstrated that the dose distribution was nearly unaffected by the magnetic field for all investigated magnetic field strengths. Evidence was found that, from a dose perspective, the HDR prostate brachytherapy treatment using Ir-192 can be performed safely inside the MRI scanner. No need was found to account for the magnetic field during treatment planning. Nevertheless, the presence of air pockets in close vicinity to the source, particularly along the direction parallel with the magnetic field, appeared to be an important point for consideration.