A quality assurance protocol for diffusion tensor imaging using the head phantom from American College of Radiology

Authors

  • Wang Zhiyue J.,

    1. Department of Radiology, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75235, USA and Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75390
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    • a)

      Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Electronic mail: jerry.wang@childrens.com; Telephone: +1 214-456-1479.

  • Seo Youngseob,

    1. Department of Radiology, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75235, USA and Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75390
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  • Chia Jonathan M.,

    1. Clinical Science, Philips Healthcare, Cleveland, Ohio 44143
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  • Rollins Nancy K.

    1. Department of Radiology, Children's Medical Center of Dalla Dallas, Texas 75235, USA and Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75390
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Abstract

Purpose:

To propose a quality assurance procedure for routine clinical diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) using the widely available American College of Radiology (ACR) head phantom.

Methods:

Analysis was performed on the data acquired at 1.5 and 3.0 T on whole body clinical MRI scanners using the ACR phantom and included the following: (1) the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at the center and periphery of the phantom, (2) image distortion by EPI readout relative to spin echo imaging, (3) distortion of high-b images relative to the b = 0 image caused by diffusion encoding, and (4) determination of fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) measured with region-of-interest (ROI) and pixel-based approaches. Reproducibility of the measurements was assessed by five repetitions of data acquisition on each scanner.

Results:

The SNR at the phantom center was approximately half of that near the periphery at both 1.5 and 3 T. The image distortion by the EPI readout was up to 7 mm at 1.5 T and 10 mm at 3 T. The typical distortion caused by eddy currents from diffusion encoding was on the order of 0.5 mm. The difference between ROI-based and pixel-based MD quantification was 1.4% at 1.5 T and 0.3% at 3 T. The ROI-based MD values were in close agreement (within 2%) with the reference values. The ROI-based FA values were approximately a factor of 10 smaller than pixel-based values and less than 0.01. The measurement reproducibility was sufficient for quality assurance (QA) purposes.

Conclusions:

This QA approach is simple to perform and evaluates key aspects of the scanner performance for DTI data acquisition using a widely available phantom.

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