Development of a vendor neutral MRI distortion quality assurance workflow

Publication Name

Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics


With the utilization of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in radiotherapy increasing, routine quality assurance (QA) of these systems is necessary. The assessment of geometric distortion in images used for radiotherapy treatment planning needs to be quantified and monitored over time. This work presents an adaptable methodology for performing routine QA for systematic MRI geometric distortion. A software tool and compatible protocol (designed to work with any CT and MR compatible phantom on any scanner) were developed to quantify geometric distortion via deformable image registration. The MR image is deformed to the CT, generating a deformation field, which is sampled, quantifying geometric distortion as a function of distance from scanner isocenter. Configurability of the QA tool was tested, and results compared to those provided from commercial solutions. Registration accuracy was investigated by repeating the deformable registration step on the initial deformed MR image to define regions with residual distortions. The geometric distortion of four clinical systems was quantified using the customisable QA method presented. Maximum measured distortions varied from 2.2 to 19.4 mm (image parameter and sampling volume dependent). The workflow was successfully customized for different phantom configurations and volunteer imaging studies. Comparison to a vendor supplied solution showed good agreement in regions where the two procedures were sampling the same imaging volume. On a large field of view phantom across various scanners, the QA tool accurately quantified geometric distortions within 17–22 cm from scanner isocenter. Beyond these regions, the geometric integrity of images in clinical applications should be considered with a higher degree of uncertainty due to increased gradient nonlinearity and B0 inhomogeneity. This tool has been successfully integrated into routine QA of the MRI scanner utilized for radiotherapy within our department. It enables any low susceptibility MR-CT compatible phantom to quantify the geometric distortion on any MRI scanner with a configurable, user friendly interface for ease of use and consistency in data collection and analysis.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Western Sydney Local Health District



Link to publisher version (DOI)