TU-F-CAMPUS-I-05: Semi-Automated, Open Source MRI Quality Assurance and Quality Control Program for Multi-Unit Institution

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

Phantom measurements allow for the performance of magnetic resonance (MR) systems to be evaluated. Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Report No. 100 Acceptance Testing and Quality Assurance Procedures for MR Imaging Facilities, American College of Radiology (ACR) MR Accreditation Program MR phantom testing, and ACR MRI quality control (QC) program documents help to outline specific tests for establishing system performance baselines as well as system stability over time. Analyzing and processing tests from multiple systems can be time-consuming for medical physicists. Besides determining whether tests are within predetermined limits or criteria, monitoring longitudinal trends can also help prevent costly downtime of systems during clinical operation. In this work, a semi-automated QC program was developed to analyze and record measurements in a database that allowed for easy access to historical data.

Methods:

Image analysis was performed on 27 different MR systems of 1.5T and 3.0T field strengths from GE and Siemens manufacturers. Recommended measurements involved the ACR MRI Accreditation Phantom, spherical homogenous phantoms, and a phantom with an uniform hole pattern. Measurements assessed geometric accuracy and linearity, position accuracy, image uniformity, signal, noise, ghosting, transmit gain, center frequency, and magnetic field drift. The program was designed with open source tools, employing Linux, Apache, MySQL database and Python programming language for the front and backend.

Results:

Processing time for each image is <2 seconds. Figures are produced to show regions of interests (ROIs) for analysis. Historical data can be reviewed to compare previous year data and to inspect for trends.

Conclusion:

A MRI quality assurance and QC program is necessary for maintaining high quality, ACR MRI Accredited MR programs. A reviewable database of phantom measurements assists medical physicists with processing and monitoring of large datasets. Longitudinal data can reveal trends that although are within passing criteria indicate underlying system issues.

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