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Report No. 028 - Quality Assurance Methods and Phantoms for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (1990)

Category: Reports

The purpose of this document is to describe a standard set of test procedures which can be used to evaluate the performance of clinical magnetic resonance imaging systems. These procedures and tests are not intended to establish absolute performance standards but are rather intended to provide methods which can be used as part of a routine quality assurance program. It is the position of this document that the purpose of a quality assurance program is to detect changes in system performance relative to an established baseline. This document also includes recommendations for acceptable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phantom materials, phantom designs, and analysis procedures. Specific image parameters described in ths document are: resonance frequency, signal-to-noise, image uniformity, spatial linearity, spatial resolution, slice thickness, slice position/separation, and phase related image artifacts. It is recognized that this set is not exhaustive and does not include procedures for assessing all possible image parameters, and similarly it is also recognized that there are acceptable methods other than those presented for measuring many of these parameters. The proposed set, however, is considered to be adequate for monitoring the sensitivity and geometric characteristics of clinical nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging systems. The proposed set does not include specific procedures for monitoring the accuracy or precision of T1, T2 or proton density. Since at the present time, there are no commonly accepted standard methods for determining T1, T2 and proton density from image data and the assessment of these parameters is not currently a part of clinical practice, we have chosen not to include these test procedures until more knowledge on their utility and measurement is available. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is acknowledged for their assistance in the development of the sections on field uniformity and signal-tonoise. The specifications for these two parameters are consistent with the NEMA specifications wherever possible under the requirement that the procedures are applicable for use in a practical quality assurance program. The American College of Radiology (ACR) Subcommittee on Magnetic Resonance (MR) Nomenclature and Phantom Development under the MR Committee on Imaging Technology and Equipment is acknowledged for its persistent and careful review over the several years that this document has been under development.

Medical Physics, 17, 287-295 (1990)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.596566
ISBN: 978-0-883188-00-2

Keywords: MRI, Quality Assurance, Phantoms, SNR, Uniformity
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Committee Task Group #1

Ronald R. Price, Leon Axel, Tommie Morgan, Robert Newman, William Perman, Nicholas Schneiders, Mark Selikson, Michael L. Wood, Stephen R. Thomas, Ronald R. Price, Stephen R. Thomas

Committee Responsible: Magnetic Resonance Subcommittee
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