Quantitative analysis of fetal magnetic resonance phantoms and recommendations for an anthropomorphic motion phantom

  • Michael Shulman
  • Eunyoung Cho
  • Bipin Aasi
  • Jin Cheng
  • Saiee Nithiyanantham
  • Nicole Waddell
  • Dafna SussmanEmail author
Review Article



To provide a review and quantitative analysis of the available fetal MR imaging phantoms.

Materials and methods

A literature search was conducted across Pubmed, Google Scholar, and Ryerson University Library databases to identify fetal MR imaging phantoms. Phantoms were graded on a semi-quantitative scale in regards to four evaluation categories: (1) anatomical accuracy in size and shape, (2) dielectric conductivity similar to the simulated tissue, (3) relaxation times similar to simulated tissue, and (4) physiological motion similar to fetal gross body, cardiovascular, and breathing motion. This was followed by statistical analysis to identify significant findings.


Seventeen fetal phantoms were identified and had an average overall percentage accuracy of 26%, with anatomical accuracy being satisfied the most (56%) and physiological motion the least (7%). Phantoms constructed using 3D printing were significantly more accurate than conventionally constructed phantoms.


Currently available fetal phantoms lack accuracy and motion simulation. 3D printing may lead to higher accuracy compared with traditional manufacturing. Future research needs to focus on properly simulating both fetal anatomy and physiological motion to produce a phantom that is appropriate for fetal MRI sequence development and optimization.


Fetus Magnetic Resonance Imaging Phantoms Imaging Artifacts Accuracy assessment 3D printing Synthesis methods 



The authors thank Brahmdeep Saini, Dr. Birgit Ertl-Wagner, and Dr. Michael Kolios for providing feedback on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) [funding reference number RGPIN-2018-04155]. NSERC had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit this article for publication.

Author contributions

Study conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data and critical revision: DS, MS. Acquisition of data: MS, EC, JC, SN, and BA. Drafting of manuscript: DS, MS, EC, and NW.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical EngineeringRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST)Ryerson University and St. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  3. 3.The Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, St. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical PhysicsRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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