Our quality assurance programmes ensure that our imaging hardware is properly maintained & provides consistently high quality results.
MR Quality assurance
We follow national guidelines of the Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) & the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).
- We note that the guidelines are somewhat dated in terms of the more advanced MR sub-modalities (e.g. fMR, DTI) & hardware developments (e.g. multi-channel coils). However, their principles of establishing a thorough QA protocol, through which specific measures of image quality can be assessed, are sound.
Our goal is to ensure that accurate & reproducible image acquisition is well documented.
Below are some MR QA tutorials:
General MR QA techniques:
- Daily: routine (clinical) QA performed
- This form of QA is inadequate for research purposes
- Monthly: we carry out an extensive battery of tests on MR phantoms
- Bespoke: for some studies, specific QA may be required both prior to & after scanning a subject
MR QA tests carried out include:
- Signal to noise ratio
- Single- & multi- voxel spectroscopy (MRS)
- Functional MR (fMR)
The MR images are quantified & the results plotted so that we can spot any trends in scanner performance.
Another aspect of MR QA is that of repeatability. This is important for longitudinal studies. We assess repeatability by running a programme of studies on healthy volunteers.