Technical Note: Compact three-tesla magnetic resonance imager with high-performance gradients passes ACR image quality and acoustic noise tests

Paul T. Weavers, Yunhong Shu, Shengzhen Tao, John Huston, Seung Kyun Lee, Dominic Graziani, Jean Baptiste Mathieu, Joshua D. Trzasko, Thomas K F Foo, Matt A. Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: A compact, three-tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system has been developed. It features a 37 cm patient aperture, allowing the use of commercial receiver coils. Its design allows simultaneously for gradient amplitudes of 85 millitesla per meter (mT/m) sustained and 700 tesla per meter per second (T/m/s) slew rates. The size of the gradient system allows for these simultaneous performance targets to be achieved with little or no peripheral nerve stimulation, but also raises a concern about the geometric distortion as much of the imaging will be done near the system's maximum 26 cm field-of-view. Additionally, the fast switching capability raises acoustic noise concerns. This work evaluates the system for both the American College of Radiology's (ACR) MRI image quality protocol and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) nonsignificant risk (NSR) acoustic noise limits for MR. Passing these two tests is critical for clinical acceptance. Methods: In this work, the gradient system was operated at the maximum amplitude and slew rate of 80 mT/m and 500 T/m/s, respectively. The geometric distortion correction was accomplished by iteratively determining up to the tenth order spherical harmonic coefficients using a fiducial phantom and position-tracking software, with seventh order correction utilized in the ACR test. Acoustic noise was measured with several standard clinical pulse sequences. Results: The system passes all the ACR image quality tests. The acoustic noise as measured when the gradient coil was inserted into a whole-body MRI system conforms to the FDA NSR limits. Conclusions: The compact system simultaneously allows for high gradient amplitude and high slew rate. Geometric distortion concerns have been mitigated by extending the spherical harmonic correction to higher orders. Acoustic noise is within the FDA limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1264
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • acoustic noise
  • compact three-tesla
  • gradient nonlinearity
  • high-performance gradients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Technical Note: Compact three-tesla magnetic resonance imager with high-performance gradients passes ACR image quality and acoustic noise tests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this