E1133. MRI Artifacts: Appearance, Pitfalls, and Troubleshooting
  1. Timothy Kerrigan; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Massachusetts General Hospital
  2. Stephen Guerin; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
The physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can be one of the most challenging topics encountered in radiology, yet everyone from radiology residents to veteran radiologists encounter artifacts in clinical studies on a daily basis. Adding to the complexity, if not properly recognized, these artifacts may be mistaken for pathology and negatively impact patient care. Through the use of carefully selected images mimicking real pathologies, this exhibit will: review commonly encountered artifacts on MRI exams, describe the underlying physical principles that create the artifacts, demonstrate how the artifacts can mimic real pathology in the body, and construct ways to troubleshoot the artifacts once encountered through correlation on other sequences and careful selection of imaging parameters and technique.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
After viewing this exhibit, learners will be able to recognize MRI artifacts commonly encountered in the clinical setting, match the artifact with the underlying MR physical principle, describe how these artifacts can lead to incorrect interpretations, and create amended protocols to correct the artifact.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Artifacts to be covered: motion artifact/ghosting, chemical shift artifact, incomplete CSF suppression on FLAIR, susceptibility artifact, aliasing/wrap-around artifact, moiré fringe/zebra artifact, truncation/gibbs artifact, magic angle artifact, flow related enhancement, CSF flow artifact, slow flow artifact, time-of-flight in-plane flow artifact, dielectric effect artifact, and zipper artifact.

MRI artifacts are frequently encountered in daily practice and are essential to recognize and understand to avoid misinterpretation and potential harm to the patient. Through careful examination of the sequences, acquisition planes, and knowledge of common pitfalls, radiologists can confidently recognize and troubleshoot commonly encountered artifacts in the clinical setting.