Accelerated Reliability Growth Test for Magnetic Resonance Imaging System Using Time-of-Flight Three-Dimensional Pulse Sequence

Diagnostics (Basel). 2019 Oct 25;9(4):164. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics9040164.


A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system is a complex, high cost, and long-life product. It is a widely known fact that performing a system reliability test of a MRI system during the development phase is a challenging task. The major challenges include sample size, high test cost, and long test duration. This paper introduces a novel approach to perform a MRI system reliability test in a reasonably acceptable time with one sample size. Our approach is based on an accelerated reliability growth test, which consists of test cycle made of a very high-energy time-of-flight three-dimensional (TOF3D) pulse sequence representing an actual hospital usage scenario. First, we construct a nominal day usage scenario based on actual data collected from an MRI system used inside the hospital. Then, we calculate the life-time stress based on a usage scenario. Finally, we develop an accelerated reliability growth test cycle based on a TOF3D pulse sequence that exerts highest vibration energy on the gradient coil and MRI system. We use a vibration energy model to map the life-time stress and reduce the test duration from 537 to 55 days. We use a Crow AMSAA plot to demonstrate that system design reaches its useful life after crossing the infant mortality phase.

Keywords: Crow AMSAA; MRI; MRI usage scenario; accelerated test; growth test; magnetic resonance imaging; system reliability test.