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Return to Course LibraryGlossary

Release Date
June 2009

Expiration date
July 1, 2013


Daniel R. Thedens, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Radiology
Division of Diagnostic Radiology-Physics
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

Equipment Requirements

PC: Windows XP/Vista, Pentium processor or faster, at least 256 MB RAM, Internet Explorer version 7 and 8, Mozilla FireFox version 3.0.10.

MAC: OS version 10.4./10.5, G4 processor or faster, at least 256 MB RAM, Safari version 3.2.3, FireFox 3.0.10.

Format: Online and Print Module
Credit:  6.0 ARRT Category A
Fee for Credit Certificate: $35

This program is available ONLINE and as a PRINT MODULE

  • Click ENROLL NOW to view this program ONLINE and complete the POSTTEST (online study is free)
  • Click ORDER NOW to receive the PRINT MODULE by mail (shipping charges apply)


Basic Principles of MRI

MRI for Technologists is a training program designed to meet the needs of radiologic technologists entering or working in the MRI field.

Please Note:

In the face of shrinking grant funds for the MRI for Technologists series, ICPME is developing ways to ensure the series will continue to be available and the content remains current.

Effective 11/11/11:

  • There is no fee to read the material and self-assess by completing the posttest.
  • A fee will be charged to receive credit for this activity.
  • Participants can be sure they have successfully passed and are eligible for credit before they pay for their certificate.

Fees for Basic Principles of MRI:

Read & Self-test                               $0
6.0 hours ARRT category A credit    $35
Improved professional skills            Priceless



Basic Principles of MRI, the first in a six-module series, introduces the learner to the fundamental technical concepts of magnetic resonance imaging, keeping in mind the educational goals of exposing the learner to the physics of the hydrogen proton, how and why it responds in a magnetic field, how images are produced in an electromagnetic field, imaging parameters, and image quality.


After concluding this educational activity, the reader will be able to:

  • List the different types of tomographic images and explain how MRI and CT differ
  • Explain the atomic structure of the hydrogen atom and its utility in MRI
  • Describe how the hydrogen proton responds when placed in an external magnetic field
  • Explain how protons oscillate at the Larmor frequency and how they can be reoriented to the longitudinal and transverse directions
  • Compare and contrast longitudinal and transverse relaxation and describe the time constants relative to each
  • Explain Faraday’s law and discuss how free induction decay occurs
  • Compare and contrast spin-echo and gradient-echo pulse sequences and the time constants TE and TR
  • Discuss how a flip angle affects image appearance and how images can be enhanced by using gadolinium-based contrast agents
  • Discuss how images are created by frequency and phase encoding
  • Describe the effects of gradient fields and the concepts of k-space and Fourier transform
  • List additional imaging techniques, their contrast properties, and describe how these techniques differ from conventional pulse sequences
  • Explain characteristics that influence image quality, as well as physical and image acquisition parameters



This program has been approved by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) for 6.0 hours of ARRT Category A continuing education credit.

This program has been approved by the State of Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control Radiological Technologist Program for 6.0 hours of continuing education credit.


Online Instructions

  • Click on "ENROLL NOW" and follow the registration instructions.
  • The course will be accessible from your "MY ACCOUNT" page.
  • Download and print the module chapters or read the module online.

Print Instructions

  • Click on "ORDER NOW" and follow the instructions to order the print module. Shipping charges apply.



Estimated time to complete this activity is 6.0 hours. There are no fees or prerequisites to participate in this activity.

  • The posttest and evaluation are required to receive credit and must be completed online.
  • In order to access the posttest and evaluation, you must order the print material or register for the course online at
  • Read the entire activity.
  • Log in to your account at to complete the posttest and evaluation, accessible through the course link in your account.
  • A passing grade of at least 75% is required to receive credit.
  • You may take the test up to three times.
  • Upon receipt of a passing grade, you will be able to print a certificate of credit from your online account.
  • There is a $35 fee to process a certificate of credit.



Daniel R. Thedens, PhD, received his doctorate in electric engineering from Stanford University. In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities at the University of Iowa, Dr. Thedens serves as co-chair for the Radiology MR Research Advisory Board and as Technical Director of the Small Animal MRI Facility.

Dr. Thedens' areas of research interest are 3D MR image acquisition, rapid MR acquisition techniques, imaging of cartilage and other orthopaedic applications, cardiac MRI, and MR image processing.




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