Robust x-ray tubes for use within magnetic fields of MR scanners
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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