TH-AB-BRA-05: Lung Cannot Be Treated as Homogeneous in Radiation Transport Simulations in Magnetic Fields

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

Magnetic fields in MRgRT are known to induce dose perturbations near lung-tissue interfaces. The goal of this study is to determine if the heterogeneous structure of the lung influences the dose distribution in a magnetic field.

Method:

The dose distribution from a 4 cm X 4 cm 6 MV photon beam in a 0, 0.6, or 1.5 T magnetic field in a homogeneous lung density (0.333 g/cm3) geometry is compared to that in a heterogeneous segmented slab configuration. The heterogeneous phantom is composed of 2/3 water vapour and 1/3 liquid water such that the overall density of the lung regions in the two phantoms are equivalent. The EGSnrc DOSXYZnrc user code is used with a previously implemented magnetic field transport code.

Results:

For water vapour gap thickness of 2 mm, compared to the homogeneous lung case (which already exhibits significant dose perturbations in a magnetic field) differences as large as 12.3 ± 0.2 % are observed for a 0.6 T field and 9.3 ± 0.1 % for a 1.5 T field at the tissuelung interface, and on the order of several percent within the lung-like tissue region for both magnetic fields. Thicker gaps produced larger deviations while a gap thickness of 0.2 mm does not result in notable differences. Regardless of gap thickness, the heterogeneities had little effect on the 0 T simulations. Further, using smaller scoring regions revealed that dose averaging effects could obscure dose differences as large as 10 – 20 % within the heterogeneous structures of the lung-like media.

Conclusions:

This simple model demonstrates that media heterogeneities can play an important role in MRgRT dose distributions, and care must be taken in setting up any dose calculation in the lung in the presence of a magnetic field, especially for air regions larger than 2 mm.

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