Characterizing geometrical accuracy in clinically optimised 7T and 3T magnetic resonance images for high-precision radiation treatment of brain tumours

J. Peerlings*, I. Compter, F. Janssen, C.J. Wiggins, A.A. Postma, F.M. Mottaghy, P. Lambin, A.L. Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and purpose: In neuro-oncology, high spatial accuracy is needed for clinically acceptable high-precision radiation treatment planning (RTP). In this study, the clinical applicability of anatomically optimised 7-Tesla (7T) MR images for reliable RTP is assessed with respect to standard clinical imaging modalities.Materials and methods: System- and phantom-related geometrical distortion (GD) were quantified on clinically-relevant MR sequences at 7T and 3T, and on CT images using a dedicated anthropomorphic head phantom incorporating a 3D grid-structure, creating 436 points-of-interest. Global GD was assessed by mean absolute deviation (MAD(Global)). Local GD relative to the magnetic isocentre was assessed by MAD(Local). Using 3D displacement vectors of individual points-of-interest, GD maps were created. For clinically acceptable radiotherapy, 7T images need to meet the criteria for accurate dose delivery (GD < 1 mm) and present comparable GD as tolerated in clinically standard 3T MR/CT-based RTP.Results: MAD(Global) in 7T and 3T images ranged from 0.3 to 2.2mm and 0.2-0.8 mm, respectively. MAD(Local) increased with increasing distance from the isocentre, showed an anisotropic distribution, and was significantly larger in 7T MR sequences (MAD(Local) = 0.2-1.2 mm) than in 3T (MAD(Local) = 0.1-0.7 mm) (p < 0.05). Significant differences in GD were detected between 7T images (p < 0.001). However, maximum MAD(Local) remained <= 1 mm within 68.7mm diameter spherical volume. No significant differences in GD were found between 7T and 3T protocols near the isocentre.Conclusions: System- and phantom-related GD remained <= 1 mm in central brain regions, suggesting that 7T MR images could be implemented in radiotherapy with clinically acceptable spatial accuracy and equally tolerated GD as in 3T MR/CT-based RTP. For peripheral regions, GD should be incorporated in safety margins for treatment uncertainties. Moreover, the effects of sequence-related factors on GD needs further investigation to obtain RTP-specific MR protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics & Imaging in Radiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Anthropomorphic phantom
  • Diametric spherical volume
  • Geometrical distortion
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Radiation treatment planning
  • Ultra-high field MRI
  • MRI


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