Robust x-ray tubes for use within magnetic fields of MR scanners.
ABSTRACT A hybrid system that combines an x-ray fluoroscopic system and a magnetic resonance (MR) system can provide physicians with the synergy of exquisite soft tissue contrast (from MR) and high temporal and spatial resolutions (from x ray), which may significantly benefit a number of image-guided interventional procedures. However, the system configuration may require the x-ray tube to be placed in a magnetic field, which can hinder the proper functioning of the x-ray tube by deflecting its electron beam. From knowledge of how the magnetic field affects the electron trajectories, we propose creating another magnetic field along the cathode-anode axis using either solenoids or permanent magnets to reduce the deflection of the electron beam for two cases: a strong and slightly misaligned field or a weak field that is arbitrary in direction. Theoretical analysis is presented and the electron beam is simulated in various external magnetic fields with a finite element modeling program. Results show that both correction schemes enhance the robustness of the x-ray tube operation in an externally applied magnetic field.
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ABSTRACT: We have installed an improved X-ray/MR (XMR) truly hybrid system with higher imaging signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and versatility than our first prototype. In our XMR design, a fixed anode X-ray fluoroscopy system is positioned between the two donut-shaped magnetic poles of a 0.5T GE Signa-SP magnet (SP-XMR). This paper describes the methods for increased compatibility between the upgraded x-ray and MR systems that have helped improve patient management. A GE OEC 9800 system (GE OEC Salt Lake City, UT) was specially reconfigured for permitting X-ray fluoroscopy inside the interventional magnet. A higher power X-ray tube, a new permanent tube mounting system, automatic exposure control (AEC), remote controlled collimators, choice of multiple frame rates, DICOM image compatibility, magnetically shimmed X-ray detector, X-ray compatible MR coil, and better RF shielding are the highlights of the new system. A total of 23 clinical procedures have been conducted with SP-XMR guidance of which five were performed using the new system. The 70% increased power for fluoroscopy, and a new 6 times higher power single frame imaging mode, has improved imaging capability. The choice of multiple imaging frame rates, AEC, and collimator control allow reduction in X-ray exposure to the patient. The DICOM formatting has permitted easy transfer of clinical images over the hospital PACS network. The increased MR compatibility of the detector and the X-ray transparent MR coil has enabled faster switching between X-ray and MR imaging modes. The improvements introduced in our SP-XMR system have further streamlined X-ray/MR hybrid imaging. Additional clinical procedures could benefit from the new SP-XMR imaging.Academic Radiology 10/2005; 12(9):1167-77. DOI:10.1016/j.acra.2005.03.076 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A next-generation interventional guidance system is proposed that will enable intraprocedural access to both x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modalities. This closed bore XMR (CBXMR) system is comprised of a conventional radiographic rotating anode x-ray tube and a direct conversion flat panel detector on a rotating gantry positioned adjacent to the bore of a 1.5 T MRI. To assess the feasibility of such a system, we have investigated the degree of compatibility between the x-ray components and the MRI. For /-->B(ext)/ < 200 G the effect on the radiographic tube motor was negligible regardless of the orientation of -->B(ext) with respect to the motor axis of rotation--the frequency of anode rotation remained within 6% of the 3400 rpm frequency measured at 0 G. For /-->B(ext)/ >2400 G the anode slowed down to below 2400 rpm at all orientations. At intermediate B(ext), the frequency of rotation varied between 2400 and 3200 rpm, showing a strong dependence on orientation, with -->B(ext) perpendicular to the tube axis having a much stronger effect on the rotation frequency than -->B(ext) parallel to the tube axis. In contrast to the effect of -->B(ext) on the induction motor, parallel -->B(ext) had a stronger detrimental effect on the cathode-anode electron beam, whose path was at 16 degrees to the tube axis, than the perpendicular -->B(ext). Parallel -->B(ext) of several hundred Gauss had a defocusing effect on the x-ray focal spot. -->B(ext) perpendicular to the electron beam shifted the beam without significant defocusing. We have determined that the direct conversion flat panel detector (FPD) technology is not intrinsically sensitive to -->B(ext), and that the modifications required to make the proposed FPDs MRI compatible are minimal. The homogeneity of the MRI signal in the normal field of view was not significantly degraded by the presence of these x-ray components in the vicinity of the MRI bore entrance.Medical Physics 08/2006; 33(8):3033-45. DOI:10.1118/1.2219328 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: When a fixed anode x-ray tube is placed in a magnetic field (B) that is parallel to the anode-cathode axis, the x-ray exposure increases with increasing B. It was hypothesized that the increase was caused by backscattered electrons which were constrained by B and reaccelerated by the electric field onto the x-ray tube target. We performed computer simulations and physical experiments to study the behavior of the backscattered electrons in a magnetic field, and their effects on the radiation output, x-ray spectrum, and off-focal radiation. A Monte Carlo program (EGS4) was used to generate the combined energy and angular distribution of the backscattered electrons. The electron trajectories were traced and their landing locations back on the anode were calculated. Radiation emission from each point was modeled with published data (IPEM Report 78), and thus the exposure rate and x-ray spectrum with the contribution of backscattered electrons could be predicted. The point spread function for a pencil beam of electrons was generated and then convolved with the density map of primary electrons incident on the anode as simulated with a finite element program (Opera-3d, Vector Fields, UK). The total spatial distribution of x-ray emission could then be calculated. Simulations showed that for an x-ray tube working at 65 kV, about 54% of the electrons incident on the target were backscattered. In a magnetic field of 0.5 T, although the exposure would be increased by 33%, only a small fraction of the backscattered electrons landed within the focal spot area. The x-ray spectrum was slightly shifted to lower energies and the half value layer (HVL) was reduced by about 6%. Measurements of the exposure rate, half value layer and focal spot distribution were acquired as functions of B. Good agreement was observed between experimental data and simulation results. The wide spatial distribution of secondary x-ray emission can degrade the MTF of the x-ray system at low spatial frequencies for B < 0.5 T.Medical Physics 03/2007; 34(2):408-18. DOI:10.1118/1.2404618 · 3.01 Impact Factor