The signal to noise ratio (SNR) is one of the important measures of the performance of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. The object of this study was to compare a single acquisition method, which estimates the noise from background pixels, with a dual acquisition method which estimates the noise from the subtraction of two sequentially acquired images. The dual acquisition method is more exact, but is slower to perform and requires image manipulation. A comparison between the two methods gave a good correlation, and a regression equation of SNRsingle = 1.1 + 0.94 SNRdual. The single acquisition method is therefore appropriate for use in a quality assurance programme, since it is quicker and simpler to perform and is a good indicator of the more exact measure.
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