A Method for Calibrating Diffusion Gradients in Diffusion Tensor Imaging

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To calibrate and correct the gradient errors including gradient amplitude scaling errors, background/imaging gradients, and residual gradients in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).


A calibration protocol using an isotropic phantom was proposed. Gradient errors were estimated by using linear regression analyses on quadratic functions of diffusion gradients along 3 orthogonal directions. A 6-element total effective scaling vector is generated from the calibration protocol to retrospectively correct gradient errors in DTI experiments.


The accuracy of the calibration protocol was within 1% or less in estimating gradient scaling errors. On both the brain study and the computer simulations, the retrospective correction minimized undesirable estimate biases of DTI measurements due to gradient errors.


The protocol and retrospective correction are shown to be effective. The method may be used for prospective correction if actual diffusion-gradient waveforms are available. The methodology is expandable to general diffusion imaging schemes.

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