On the use of water phantom images to calibrate and correct eddy current induced artefacts in MR diffusion tensor imaging

Magn Reson Imaging. 2000 Jul;18(6):681-7. doi: 10.1016/s0730-725x(00)00158-2.


The accurate determination of absolute measures of diffusion anisotropy in vivo using single-shot, echo-planar imaging techniques requires the acquisition of a set of high signal-to-noise ratio, diffusion-weighted images that are free from eddy current induced image distortions. Such geometric distortions can be characterized and corrected in brain imaging data using magnification (M), translation (T), and shear (S) distortion parameters derived from separate water phantom calibration experiments. Here we examine the practicalities of using separate phantom calibration data to correct high b-value diffusion tensor imaging data by investigating the stability of these distortion parameters, and hence the eddy currents, with time. It is found that M, T, and S vary only slowly with time (i.e., on the order of weeks), so that calibration scans need not be performed after every patient examination. This not only minimises the scan time required to collect the calibration data, but also the computational time needed to characterize these eddy current induced distortions. Examples of how measurements of diffusion anisotropy are improved using this post-processing scheme are also presented.

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Calibration
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / instrumentation
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / methods*
  • Glioma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Water / chemistry


  • Water