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Magn Reson Imaging. 2004 May;22(4):529-42.

A novel phantom and method for comprehensive 3-dimensional measurement and correction of geometric distortion in magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Centre for Magnetic Resonance, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia.


A phantom that can be used for mapping geometric distortion in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is described. This phantom provides an array of densely distributed control points in three-dimensional (3D) space. These points form the basis of a comprehensive measurement method to correct for geometric distortion in MR images arising principally from gradient field non-linearity and magnet field inhomogeneity. The phantom was designed based on the concept that a point in space can be defined using three orthogonal planes. This novel design approach allows for as many control points as desired. Employing this novel design, a highly accurate method has been developed that enables the positions of the control points to be measured to sub-voxel accuracy. The phantom described in this paper was constructed to fit into a body coil of a MRI scanner, (external dimensions of the phantom were: 310 mm x 310 mm x 310 mm), and it contained 10,830 control points. With this phantom, the mean errors in the measured coordinates of the control points were on the order of 0.1 mm or less, which were less than one tenth of the voxel's dimensions of the phantom image. The calculated three-dimensional distortion map, i.e., the differences between the image positions and true positions of the control points, can then be used to compensate for geometric distortion for a full image restoration. It is anticipated that this novel method will have an impact on the applicability of MRI in both clinical and research settings, especially in areas where geometric accuracy is highly required, such as in MR neuro-imaging.

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