Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv
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The use of a passive MRI-visible tracking frame is a common method of localizing devices in MRI space for MRI-guided procedures. One of the most common tracking frame designs found in the literature is the z-frame, as it allows six degree-of-freedom pose estimation using only a single image slice. Despite the popularity of this design, it is susceptible to errors in pose estimation due to various image distortion mechanisms in MRI. In this paper, the absolute error in using a z-frame to localize a tool in MRI is quantified over various positions of the z-frame relative to the MRI isocenter, and for various levels of static magnetic field inhomogeneity. It was found that the error increases rapidly with distance from the isocenter in both the horizontal and vertical directions, but the error is much less sensitive to position when multiple contiguous slices are used with slice-select gradient nonlinearity correction enabled, as opposed to the more common approach of only using a single image slice. In addition, the error is found to increase rapidly with an increasing level of static field inhomogeneity, even with the z-frame placed within 10 cm of the isocenter.