Computed Tomography

Design of a novel soft tissue-mimicking phantom with randomizable low contrast features for use in CT and MRI

 S Meeson, SD Turnbull and SJ Golding

Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.

A soft tissue-mimicking phantom has been designed to simulate low contrast features in the liver and abdomen, suitable for use in CT and MRI. The phantom was constructed using a series of Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) discs, mounted inside a PMMA tank. The discs contained a series of holes distributed randomly. Each disc included identification and orientation markers for later verification of features after image assessment. Disc locations could be randomized by rotation about their mounting axis between scans. A spatial resolution disc was also included for image quality assessment. Relatively low contrast features could be simulated using suitable contrast media. The phantom was scanned using two different 64-slice multidetector CT and a 1.5T MRI scanner. Images of the discs were reconstructed successfully with all scanners. High contrast (test phantom in air) and low contrast (test phantom in contrast solutions) feature images demonstrated the appropriateness of the phantom, its extremes of performance and feature detectability when reporting. This practical soft tissue-mimicking phantom has been designed and tested successfully for use in CT and MRI image quality studies, it is particularly suitable for low contrast situations and avoids the potential for learning effects during image assessment.

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Last modified 3rd September 2017

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