Assessment of diffusion tensor image quality across sites and vendors using the American College of Radiology head phantom

Zhiyue J. Wang, Youngseob Seo, Evelyn Babcock, Hao Huang, Stefan Bluml, Jessica Wisnowski, Barbara Holshouser, Ashok Panigrahy, Dennis W W Shaw, Nolan Altman, Roderick W. McColl, Nancy K. Rollins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of assessing quality of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) from multiple sites and vendors using American College of Radiology (ACR) phantom. Participating sites (Siemens (n = 2), GE (n= 2), and Philips (n = 4)) reached consensus on parameters for DTI and used the widely available ACR phantom. Tensor data were processed at one site. B0 and eddy current distortions were assessed using grid line displacement on phantom Slice 5; signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was measured at the center and periphery of the b = 0 image; fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were assessed using phantom Slice 7. Variations of acquisition parameters and deviations from specified sequence parameters were recorded. Nonlinear grid line distortion was higher with linear shimming and could be corrected using the 2nd order shimming. Following image registration, eddy current distortion was consistently smaller than acquisition voxel size. SNR was consistently higher in the image periphery than center by a factor of 1.3-2.0. ROI-based FA ranged from 0.007 to 0.024. ROI-based MD ranged from 1.90 × 10-3 to 2.33 × 10-3 mm2/s (median = 2.04 × 10-3 mm2/s). Two sites had image void artifacts. The ACR phantom can be used to compare key quality measures of diffusion images acquired from multiple vendors at multiple sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Image artifacts
  • Multicenter
  • Quality control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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