We present a method to correct the geometric distortion caused by field inhomogeneity in MR images of patients wearing MR-compatible stereotaxic frames. Our previously published distortion correction method derives patient-dependent error maps by computing the phase-difference of 3D images acquired at different TEs. The time difference (delta TE = 4.9 ms at 1.5 T) is chosen such that the water and fat signals are in phase. However, delta TE is long enough to permit phase wraps in the difference images for frequency offsets greater than 205 Hz. Phase unwrapping techniques resolve these only for connected structures; therefore, the phase difference for fiducial rods may be off by multiples of 2 pi relative to the head. We remove this uncertainty by using an additional single 2D phase-different image with delta TE = 1 ms (during which time no phase-wraps are typically expected) to determine the correct multiple of 2 pi for each rod. We tested our method in a cadaver and in a patient using CT as the gold standard. Targets in the frame coordinates were chosen from CT and compared with their locations in MR. Localizing errors using MR compared with CT were as large as 3.7 mm before correction and were reduced to less than 1.11 mm after correction.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RF76800015
View details for PubMedID 7674887