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.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A close proximity hybrid x-ray/magnetic resonance (XMR) imaging system offers several critical advantages over current XMR system installations that have large separation distances (∼5 m) between the imaging fields of view. The two imaging systems can be placed in close proximity to each other if an x-ray tube can be designed to be immune to the magnetic fringe fields outside of the MR bore. One of the major obstacles to robust x-ray tube design is correcting for the effects of the MR fringe field on the x-ray tube focal spot. Any fringe field component orthogonal to the x-ray tube electric field leads to electron drift altering the path of the electron trajectories.Medical Physics 11/2014; 41(11):112302. DOI:10.1118/1.4898099 · 3.01 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Purpose: Using hybrid x-ray∕MR (XMR) systems for image guidance during interventional procedures could enhance the diagnosis and treatment of neurologic, oncologic, cardiovascular, and other disorders. The authors propose a close proximity hybrid system design in which a C-arm fluoroscopy unit is placed immediately adjacent to the solenoid magnet of a MR system with a minimum distance of 1.2 m between the x-ray and MR imaging fields of view. Existing rotating anode x-ray tube designs fail within MR fringe field environments because the magnetic fields alter the electron trajectories in the x-ray tube and act as a brake on the induction motor, reducing the rotation speed of the anode. In this study the authors propose a novel motor design that avoids the anode rotation speed reduction.Methods: The proposed design replaces the permanent magnet stator found in brushed dc motors with the radial component of the MR fringe field. The x-ray tube is oriented such that the radial component of the MR fringe field is orthogonal to the cathode-anode axis. Using a feedback position sensor and the support bearings as electrical slip rings, the authors use electrical commutation to eliminate the need for mechanical brushes and commutators. A vacuum compatible prototype of the proposed motor design was assembled, and its performance was evaluated at various operating conditions. The prototype consisted of a 3.1 in. diameter anode rated at 300 kHU with a ceramic rotor that was 5.6 in. in length and had a 2.9 in. diameter. The material chosen for all ceramic components was MACOR, a machineable glass ceramic developed by Corning Inc. The approximate weight of the entire assembly was 1750 g. The maximum rotation speed, angular acceleration, and acceleration time of the motor design were investigated, as well as the dependence of these parameters on rotor angular offset, magnetic field strength, and field orientation. The resonance properties of the authors' assembly were also evaluated to determine its stability during acceleration, and a pulse width modulation algorithm was implemented to control the rotation speed of the motor.Results: At a magnetic flux density of 41 mT orthogonal to the axis of rotation (on the lower end of the expected flux density in the MR suite) the maximum speed of the motor was found to be 5150 revolutions per minute (rpm). The acceleration time necessary to reach 3000 rpm was found to be approximately 10 s at 59 mT. The resonance frequency of the assembly with the anode attached was 1310 rpm (21.8 Hz) which is far below the desired operating speeds. Pulse width modulation provides an effective method to control the speed of the motor with a resolution of 100 rpm.Conclusions: The proposed design can serve as a direct replacement to the conventional induction motor used in rotating anode x-ray tubes. It does not suffer from a reduced rotation speed when operating in a MR environment. The presence of chromic steel bearings in the prototype prevented testing at the higher field strengths, and future iterations of the design could eliminate this shortcoming. The prototype assembly demonstrates proof of concept of the authors' design and overcomes one of the major obstacles for a MR compatible rotating anode x-ray tube.Medical Physics 02/2013; 40(2):022302. DOI:10.1118/1.4773313 · 3.01 Impact Factor