Assessment of scanner performance and normalization of estimated relaxation rate values

Andrea Ciarmiello, Arturo Brunetti, Michele Larobina, Mario Quarantelli, Mario Ziviello, Bruno Alfano, Marco Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to develop and test a method for the assessment of Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanner performance suitable for routine brain MR studies and for normalization of calculated relaxation times. We hypothesized that regular monitoring of machine performance changes could provide a helpful normalization tool for calculating tissue MR parameters, thus contributing to support their use for longitudinal and comparative studies of both normal and diseased tissues. The method is based on the acquisition of phantom images during routine brain studies with standard spin-echo sequences. MR phantom and brain tissue parameters were used to assess the influence of machine related changes on relaxation parameter estimates. Experimental results showed that scanner performance may affect relaxation rate estimates. Phantom and in vivo results indicate that the correction method yields a reduction in variability of estimated phantom R1 values up to 29% and of R1 for different brain structures up to 17%. These findings support the validity of using brain coil phantoms for routine system monitoring and correction of tissue relaxation rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Brain MRI
  • Relaxation rates variability
  • Scanner performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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