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Benchmarking the Quality of Diffusion-Weighted Images

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We present a novel method that allows for measuring the quality of diffusion-weighted MR images dependent on the image resolution and the image noise. For this purpose, we introduce a new thresholding technique so that noise and the signal can automatically be estimated from a single data set. Thus, no user interaction as well as no double acquisition technique, which requires a time-consuming proper geometrical registration, is needed. As a coarser image resolution or slice thickness leads to a higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), our benchmark determines a resolution-independent quality measure so that images with different resolutions can be adequately compared. To evaluate our method, a set of diffusion-weighted images from different vendors is used. It is shown that the quality can efficiently be determined and that the automatically computed SNR is comparable to the SNR which is measured manually in a manually selected region of interest.


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