Technical note: Building a combined cyclotron and MRI facility: Implications for interference

Mark B.M. Hofman*, Joost P.A. Kuijer, Jan Willem de Ridder, Lars R. Perk, Rudolf M. Verdaasdonk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: With the introduction of hybrid PET/MRI systems, it has become more likely that the cyclotron and MRI systems will be located close to each other. This study considered the interference between a cyclotron and a superconducting MRI system.

Methods: Interactions between cyclotrons and MRIs are theoretically considered. The main interference is expected to be the perturbation of the magnetic field in the MRI due to switching on or off the magnetic field of the cyclotron. MR imaging is distorted by a dynamic spatial gradient of an external inplane magnetic field larger than 0.5-0.04 μT/m, depending on the specific MR application. From the design of a cyclotron, it is expected that the magnetic fringe field at large distances behaves as a magnetic dipolar field. This allows estimation of the full dipolar field and its spatial gradients from a single measurement. Around an 18 MeV cyclotron (Cyclone, IBA), magnetic field measurements were performed on 5 locations and compared with calculations based upon a dipolar field model.

Results: At the measurement locations the estimated and measured values of the magnetic field component and its spatial gradients of the inplane component were compared, and found to agree within a factor 1.1 for the magnetic field and within a factor of 1.5 for the spatial gradients of the field. In the specific case of the 18 MeV cyclotron with a vertical magnetic field and a 3T superconducting whole body MR system, a minimum distance of 20 m has to be considered to prevent interference.

Conclusions: This study showed that a dipole model is sufficiently accurate to predict the interference of a cyclotron on a MRI scanner, for site planning purposes. The cyclotron and a whole body MRI system considered in this study need to be placed more than 20 m apart, or magnetic shielding should be utilized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012303
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclotron
  • Interference
  • Magnetic dipole
  • MRI


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