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Meet Phannie, NIST's standard 'phantom' for calibrating MRI machines
Date:5/12/2010

are traceable to international system of units (SI) standards. The ISMRM Ad Hoc Committee on Standards for Quantitative MR defined the phantom requirements and values. NIST modeled and built the prototype device and assured the accuracy of measured quantities. NIST also developed and tested various solutions used in the mini-spheres as contrast-enhancing agents and measurement reference markers. Phannie will now undergo testing at other institutions for about four months.

Stephen Russek, the physicist leading NIST's part of the project, says the phantom is intended to be not only accurate and traceable but also physically stable and affordable, so that it can become as widely used in MRI machines as seatbelts are in cars. He demonstrated the durability of the mini-spheres by bouncing one on the floor. Materials for Phannie cost $10,000, but hopefully, in mass production the cost per phantom can be reduced to $2,000, he says.

"If it's accurate, reliable and affordable, then you have a way to measure the accuracy of MRI scanners all across the country," Russek says. "If used routinely, it will allow us to get a complete snapshot of the quality and consistency of scanning."


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Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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