Measurement of Signal-to-Noise and Contrast-to-Noise in the fBIRN Multicenter Imaging Study

Date Published:

2006 Jun


The ability to analyze and merge data across sites, vendors, and field strengths depends on one's ability to acquire images with the same image quality including image smoothness, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). SNR can be used to compare different magnetic resonance scanners as a measure of comparability between the systems. This study looks at the SNR and CNR ratios in structural fast spin-echo T2-weighted scans acquired in five individuals across ten sites that are part of Functional Imaging Research of Schizophrenia Testbed Biomedical Informatics Research Network (fBIRN). Different manufacturers, field strengths, gradient coils, and RF coils were used at these sites. The SNR of gray matter was fairly uniform (41.3-43.3) across scanners at 1.5 T. The higher field scanners produced images with significantly higher SNR values (44.5-108.7 at 3 T and 50.8 at 4 T). Similar results were obtained for CNR measurements between gray/white matter at 1.5 T (9.5-10.2), again increasing at higher fields (10.1-28.9 at 3 T and 10.9 at 4 T).
Last updated on 01/24/2017