MRI artifact simulation for clinically relevant MRI sequences for guidance of prostate HDR brachytherapy

Beld, Ellis, Moerland, Marinus A., van Zyp, Jochem R. N. van der Voort, Viergever, Max A., Lagendijk, Jan J. W., Seevinck, Peter R.


Physics in Medicine and Biology 64 (9), p. 095006


For the purpose of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance of prostate high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, this paper presents a study on the potential of clinically relevant MRI sequences to facilitate tracking or localization of brachytherapy devices (HDR source/titanium needle), and which could simultaneously be used to visualize the anatomy. The tracking or localization involves simulation of the MRI artifact in combination with a template matching algorithm. Simulations of the MRI artifacts induced by an HDR brachytherapy source and a titanium needle were implemented for four types of sequences: spoiled gradient echo, spin echo, balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) and bSSFP with spectral attenuated inversion recovery (SPAIR) fat suppression. A phantom study was conducted in which mentioned sequences (in 2D) as well as the volumetric MRI sequences of the current clinical scan protocol were applied to obtain the induced MRI artifacts for an HDR source and a titanium needle. Localization of the objects was performed by a phase correlation based template matching algorithm. The simulated images demonstrated high correspondences with the acquired MR images, and allowed localization of the objects. A comparison between the object positions obtained for all applied MRI sequences showed deviations (from the average position) of 0.2-0.3 mm, proving that all MRI sequences were suitable for localization of the objects, irrespective of their 2D or volumetric nature. This study demonstrated that the MRI artifact induced by an HDR source or a titanium needle could be simulated for the four investigated types of MRI sequences (spoiled gradient echo, spin echo, bSSFP and bSSFP-SPAIR), valuable for real-time object localization in clinical practice. This leads to more flexibility in the choice of MRI sequences for guidance of HDR brachytherapy, as they are suitable for both object localization and anatomy visualization.