Magnetic induction tomography: Evaluation of the point spread function and analysis of resolution and image distortion

Robert Merwa, Hermann Scharfetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic induction tomography (MIT) is a low-resolution imaging modality used for reconstructing the changes of the passive electrical properties in a target object. For an imaging system, it is very important to give forecasts about the image quality. Both the maximum resolution and the correctness of the location of the inhomogeneities are of major interest. Furthermore, the smallest object which can be detected for a certain noise level is a criterion for the diagnostic value of an image. The properties of an MIT image are dependent on the position inside the object, the conductivity distribution and of course on the location and the number of excitation coils and receiving coils. Quantitative statements cannot be made in general but it is feasible to predict the image quality for a selected problem. For electrical impedance tomography (EIT), the theoretical limits of image quality have been studied carefully and a comprehensive analysis for MIT is necessary. Thus, a simplified analysis on resolution, dimensions and location of an inhomogeneity was carried out by means of an evaluation of the point spread function (PSF). In analogy to EIT the PSF depends strongly on the location, showing the broadest distribution in the centre of the object. Increasing the amount of regularization according to increasing measurement noise, the PSF broadens and its centre is shifted towards the borders of the object. The resolution is indirectly proportional to the width of the PSF and increases when moving from the centre towards the border of the object and decreases with increasing noise.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberS24
Pages (from-to)S313-S324
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • Inverse problem
  • Magnetic induction tomography
  • Point spread function
  • Regularization
  • Resolution
  • Models, Biological
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Tomography/methods
  • Magnetics


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