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MAGMA. 2009 Aug;22(4):201-9. doi: 10.1007/s10334-009-0165-3. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Long-term reproducibility of phantom signal intensities in nonuniformity corrected STIR-MRI examinations of skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands. a.r.viddeleer@rad.umcg.nl



Nerve regeneration could be monitored by comparing MRI image intensities in time, as denervated muscles display increased signal intensity in STIR sequences. In this study long-term reproducibility of STIR image intensity was assessed under clinical conditions and the required image intensity nonuniformity correction was improved by using phantom scans obtained at multiple positions.


Three-dimensional image intensity nonuniformity was investigated in phantom scans. Next, over a three-year period, 190 clinical STIR hand scans were obtained using a standardized acquisition protocol, and corrected for intensity nonuniformity by using the results of phantom scanning. The results of correction with 1, 3, and 11 phantom scans were compared. The image intensities in calibration tubes close to the hands were measured every time to determine the reproducibility of our method.


With calibration, the reproducibility of STIR image intensity improved from 7.8 to 6.4%. Image intensity nonuniformity correction with 11 phantom scans gave significantly better results than correction with 1 or 3 scans.


The image intensities in clinical STIR images acquired at different times can be compared directly, provided that the acquisition protocol is standardized and that nonuniformity correction is applied. Nonuniformity correction is preferably based on multiple phantom scans.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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