MRI artifacts

MRI artifacts are numerous and give an insight into the physics behind each sequence. Some artifacts affect the quality of the MRI exam while others do not affect the diagnostic quality but may be confused with pathology.

When encountering an unfamiliar artifact, it is useful to systematically examine general features of the artifact to try and understand its general class. These features include:

  1. type of sequence, e.g. fast spin echo, gradient, volumetric acquisition
  2. direction of phase and frequency
  3. fat or fluid attenuation
  4. presence of anatomy outside the image field
  5. presence of metallic foreign bodies

Classification of the artifact type may give one an idea about how to try to fix it.

The artifacts

Many artifacts have a characteristic appearance and with experience they can be readily identified.

MR hardware and room shielding
MR software
Patient and physiologic motion
Tissue heterogeneity and foreign bodies
Fourier transform and Nyquist sampling theorem

Artifacts are caused by a variety of factors that may be patient related such as voluntary and physiologic motion, metallic implants or foreign bodies. Finite sampling, k-space encoding, and Fourier transformation may cause aliasing and Gibbs artifact. Characteristics of pulse sequences may cause black boundary, Moire, and phase-encoding artifacts. Hardware issues may cause central point and RF overflow artifacts.


MRI physics
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Article Information

rID: 16585
Section: Physics
Tags: mri, artifact
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • MRI artifact
  • Artifacts in MRI
  • Artifact in MRI
  • Artifacts encountered in MRI
  • Artifacts encountered in MR imaging
  • MRI artefacts
  • Artefacts in MRI
  • Artefacts encountered in MRI
  • Artefacts encountered in MR imaging
  • Artefact in MRI
  • MRI artefact
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    Slice overlap or crosstalk artifact
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    Magic angle artefact: hand
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    Wrap-around artif...
    Aliasing artefact
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    Aliasing artifact
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    Magnetic susceptibility artifact
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    Magnetic susceptibility artifact
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    Magnetic susceptibility artifact
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    3D FSPGR fatsat; ...
    Moiré fringes
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    Herringbone artifact
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