Routine testing of magnetic field homogeneity on clinical MRI systems

Hua Hsuan Chen, Rex D. Boykin, Geoffrey D Clarke, Jia Hong T. Gao, John W. Roby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Poor main magnetic field (B0) homogeneity (HB) leads to artifacts and signal losses in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The American College of Radiology's MRI quality control manual mandates annual checks of HB, suggesting tests using spectral linewidth and phase-difference (Δφ) maps. A new method, the bandwidth-difference (ΔBW) method, which compares the distortion for small and large BW acquisitions to determine the HB, is proposed. The ΔBW method has the advantage that it can be used to measure multiple diameters of spherical volumes (DSV) in a single phantom. A phantom has been developed to exploit this method and results obtained with it are compared to those using three standard methods. Small receiver BW in the presence of poor HB leads to geometric distortions because gradients are reduced to the level of the B0 inhomogeneities. Data were acquired using seven MRI systems from different manufacturers, ranging in field strength from 0.2 to 3.0 T. Fast gradient echo pulse sequences were scanned twice using small and large BWs. HB was measured from the shift of landmarks between the two BW acquisitions. Results were compared with data from the full width at half maximum (FWHM) method, the Δφ method and one manufacturer's resonant frequency mapping data. The FWHM method was available on two systems and the Δφ method was available on one. The ΔBW method could be performed in all scanners investigated. The HB measured ranged 0.11-0.32 ppm to 6.7-12.9 ppm for DSV of 13-22.6 cm. Direct comparisons of the data obtained using the ΔBW method showed good agreement with data obtained using the FWHM method. Data obtained using the ΔBW method compared favorably with the manufacturer's resonant frequency map. The ΔBW method produces measurements of HB at various DSV values that can be obtained from a single set of phantom images. The accuracy of ΔBW B0 homogeneity measurements are comparable to the other methods tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4299-4306
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2006


  • Magnetic fields
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Phantoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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