A number of supervised and unsupervised pattern recognition techniques have been proposed in recent years for the segmentation and the quantitative analysis of MR images. However, the efficacy of these techniques is affected by acquisition artifacts such as inter-slice, intra-slice, and inter-patient intensity variations. Here a new approach to the correction of intra-slice intensity variations is presented. Results demonstrate that the correction process enhances the performance of backpropagation neural network classifiers designed for the segmentation of the images. Two slightly different versions of the method are presented. The first version fits an intensity correction surface directly to reference points selected by the user in the images. The second version fits the surface to reference points obtained by an intermediate classification operation. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of both methods reveals that the first one leads to a better correction of the images than the second but that it is more sensitive to operator errors.