For optimal image quality in susceptibility-weighted imaging and accurate quantification of susceptibility, it is necessary to isolate the local field generated by local magnetic sources (such as iron) from the background field that arises from imperfect shimming and variations in magnetic susceptibility of surrounding tissues (including air). Previous background removal techniques have limited effectiveness depending on the accuracy of model assumptions or information input. In this article, we report an observation that the magnetic field for a dipole outside a given region of interest (ROI) is approximately orthogonal to the magnetic field of a dipole inside the ROI. Accordingly, we propose a nonparametric background field removal technique based on projection onto dipole fields (PDF). In this PDF technique, the background field inside an ROI is decomposed into a field originating from dipoles outside the ROI using the projection theorem in Hilbert space. This novel PDF background removal technique was validated on a numerical simulation and a phantom experiment and was applied in human brain imaging, demonstrating substantial improvement in background field removal compared with the commonly used high-pass filtering method.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.