Quantitative assessment of biliary stent artifacts on MR images: Potential implications for target delineation in radiotherapy

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Purpose: Biliary stents may cause susceptibility artifacts, gradient-induced artifacts, and radio frequency (RF) induced artifacts on magnetic resonance images, which can hinder accurate target volume delineation in radiotherapy. In this study, the authors investigated and quantified the magnitude of these artifacts for stents of different materials. Methods: Eight biliary stents made of nitinol, platinum-cored nitinol, stainless steel, or polyethylene from seven vendors, with different lengths (57-98 mm) and diameters (3.0-11.7 mm), were placed in a phantom. To quantify the susceptibility artifacts sequence-independently, ΔB0-maps and T2∗-maps were acquired at 1.5 and 3 T. To study the effect of the gradient-induced artifacts at 3 T, signal decay in images obtained with maximum readout gradient-induced artifacts was compared to signal decay in reference scans. To quantify the RF induced artifacts at 3 T, B1-maps were acquired. Finally, ΔB0-maps and T2∗-maps were acquired at 3 T of two pancreatic cancer patients who had received platinum-cored nitinol biliary stents. Results: Outside the stent, susceptibility artifacts dominated the other artifacts. The stainless steel stent produced the largest susceptibility artifacts. The other stents caused decreased T2∗ up to 5.1 mm (1.5 T) and 8.5 mm (3 T) from the edge of the stent. For sequences with a higher bandwidth per voxel (1.5 T: BWvox > 275 Hz/voxel; 3 T: BWvox > 500 Hz/voxel), the B0-related susceptibility artifacts were negligible (<0.2 voxels). The polyethylene stent showed no artifacts. In vivo, the changes in B0 and T2∗ induced by the stent were larger than typical variations in B0 and T2∗ induced by anatomy when the stent was at an angle of 30° with the main magnetic field. Conclusions: Susceptibility artifacts were dominating over the other artifacts. The magnitudes of the susceptibility artifacts were determined sequence-independently. This method allows to include additional safety margins that ensure target irradiation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5603-5615
JournalMedical physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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