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Virtual phantom magnetic resonance imaging (ViP MRI) on a clinical MRI platform

Abstract : Purpose: The purpose of this study was to implement Virtual Phantom Magnetic Resonance Imaging (ViP MRI), a technique that allows for generating reference signals in MR images using radiofrequency (RF) signals, on a clinical MR system and to test newly designed virtual phantoms.Methods: MRI experiments were conducted on a 1.5 T MRI scanner. Electromagnetic modelling of the ViP system was done using the principle of reciprocity. The ViP RF signals were generated using a compact waveform generator (dimensions of 26 cm × 18 cm × 16 cm), connected to a homebuilt 25 mm-diameter RF coil. The ViP RF signals were transmitted to the MRI scanner bore, simultaneously with the acquisition of the signal from the object of interest. Different types of MRI data acquisition (2D and 3D gradient-echo) as well as different phantoms, including the Shepp–Logan phantom, were tested. Furthermore, a uniquely designed virtual phantom — in the shape of a grid — was generated; this newly proposed phantom allows for the investigations of the vendor distortion correction field.Results: High quality MR images of virtual phantoms were obtained. An excellent agreement was found between the experimental data and the inverse cube law, which was the expected functional dependence obtained from the electromagnetic modelling of the ViP system. Short-term time stability measurements yielded a coefficient of variation in the signal intensity over time equal to 0.23% and 0.13% for virtual and physical phantom, respectively. MR images of the virtual grid-shaped phantom were reconstructed with the vendor distortion correction; this allowed for a direct visualization of the vendor distortion correction field. Furthermore, as expected from the electromagnetic modelling of the ViP system, a very compact coil (diameter ~ cm) and very small currents (intensity ~ mA) were sufficient to generate a signal comparable to that of physical phantoms in MRI experiments.Conclusions: The ViP MRI technique was successfully implemented on a clinical MR system. One of the major advantages of ViP MRI over previous approaches is that the generation and transmission of RF signals can be achieved with a self-contained apparatus. As such, the ViP MRI technique is transposable to different platforms (preclinical and clinical) of different vendors. It is also shown here that ViP MRI could be used to generate signals whose characteristics cannot be reproduced by physical objects. This could be exploited to assess MRI system properties, such as the vendor distortion correction field.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 5:18:43 PM
Last modification on : Friday, October 19, 2018 - 2:07:08 PM



Hervé Saint-Jalmes, Alejandro Bordelois, Giulio Gambarota. Virtual phantom magnetic resonance imaging (ViP MRI) on a clinical MRI platform. Medical Physics, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, 2018, 45 (1), pp.250-257. ⟨10.1002/mp.12658⟩. ⟨hal-01696996⟩



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