Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the cause of severe image artifacts that occurred during gantry rotation in a 0.35 T MRI-Linac by comparing measurements of eddy currents, center frequency, and field inhomogeneities made with the gantry in motion and stationary. Methods: Gradient and B0 eddy currents were calculated from the free induction decays (FIDs) resulting from selective excitation at a temporal resolution of 200 ms/measurement. B0 eddy currents were also calculated from FIDs acquired with nonselective excitation at a temporal resolution of 100 ms/measurement. Center frequencies and B0 inhomogeneities were measured by acquiring FIDs with a repetition time (TR) of 290 ms. Cartesian and radial 2D true fast imaging with steady-state precession (TrueFISP) pulse sequences used in real-time MRI-guided radiation therapy (MR-IGRT) were acquired. To assess artifact severity, the normalized root mean square error (nRMSE) was calculated between a reference MRI (static gantry) and MRIs acquired during gantry rotation for each serial acquisition. Image artifacts were qualitatively graded as nominal, minor, or severe. Measurements were conducted while the gantry was rotated through its entire range for both clockwise and counterclockwise. Measurements during gantry rotation were compared to measurements with a stationary gantry (every 30°). Results: Severe image artifacts were observed 22–35% of the time while the gantry was rotating. Short time constant eddy currents were not affected by gantry rotation. The peak to peak center frequency and FWHM rose by factors of 13.2–14.5 and 1.1–1.6, respectively, for the rotating versus stationary gantry. The magnitude of the center frequency offset and field inhomogeneities depended on the direction of the gantry rotation. Conclusions: Image artifacts during gantry rotation were primarily caused by center frequency variations and field inhomogeneities. Therefore, dynamic B0 compensation techniques should be able to reduce artifacts during gantry rotation.
- gantry rotation
- image artifact