OBJECT: Multiple contrasts are often helpful for a comprehensive diagnosis. In 3D abdominal MRI, breath-hold techniques are preferred for single contrast acquisitions to avoid respiratory artifacts. In this paper, highly accelerated parallel MRI is used to acquire large 3D abdominal volumes with two different contrasts within a single breath-hold. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In vivo studies have been performed on six healthy volunteers, combining T (1)- and T (2)-weighted, gradient- or spin-echo based scans, as well as water/fat resolved imaging in a single breath-hold. These 3D scans were acquired with an acceleration factor of six, using a prototype 32-element receive array. RESULTS: The presented approach was tested successfully on all volunteers. The whole liver area was covered by a FOV of 350 x 250 x 200 mm(3) for all scans with reasonable spatial resolution. Arbitrary scan protocols generating different contrasts have been shown to be combinable in this single breath-hold approach. Good spatial correspondence with negligible spatial offset was achieved for all different scan combinations acquired in overall breath-hold times between 15 and 25 s. CONCLUSION: Enabled by highly parallel imaging technology, this study demonstrates the technical feasibility and the promising image quality of single breath-hold dual contrast MRI.
R. Winkelmann, P. Bornert, and O. Dössel. Ghost artifact removal using a parallel imaging approach. In Magnetic Resonance in Medicine : Official Journal of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine / Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, vol. 54(4) , pp. 1002-1009, 2005
Parallel imaging techniques, which use several receive coils simultaneously, have been shown to enable a significant scan time reduction by subsampling k-space. Nevertheless, the data acquired with multiple coils in parallel exhibit some redundancy if the number of receive coils exceeds the subsampling factor. This redundancy leads to an overdetermination of the reconstruction problem, which is generally used to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). However, it can yield further information about the quality of the reconstructed image, and can thus be used to identify and correct image artifacts. While some known approaches try to solve this problem in k-space, this study addresses it in the spatial domain and uses a modified SENSE reconstruction to reduce or completely remove ghost-type artifacts arising from processes such as motion or flow during data acquisition. Phantom and in vivo studies show significant improvements in image quality after correction, and serve as a basis for the discussion of the performance and limitations of this new approach.
Parallel imaging techniques, which in principle represent procedures of unfolding a reduced dataset, are well known and well established in MR imaging. This paper presents a further application of one particular reconstruction method, the SENSE algorithm, considered from a different point of view to remove potential foldover in conventional images acquired with multiple receive coils. Based on the coil sensitivity information, a body coverage map in the excited plane is calculated. This is used together with the measured raw data in a SENSE-type reconstruction to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as well as to remove foldover reliably by unfolding the image to a larger field of view. The reconstruction is performed automatically, without any user interaction, and does not affect data acquisition. Based on phantom and in vivo studies, which retain high image quality after the removal, the potential and limits of this approach are discussed, also taking into account future scanner hardware that will support a large number of parallel receiver channels.
The steady-state free precessing (SSFP) sequences, widely used in MRI today, acquire data only during a short fraction of the repetition time (TR). Thus, they exhibit a poor scan efficiency. In this paper, a novel approach to extending the acquisition window for a given TR without considerably modifying the basic sequence is explored for radial SSFP sequences. The additional data are primarily employed to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, rather than to improve the temporal resolution of the imaging. The approach is analyzed regarding its effect on the image SNR (signal to noise ratio) and the reconstruction algorithm. Results are presented for phantom experiments and cardiac functions studies. The gain in SNR is most notable in rapid imaging, since SNR enhancement for a constant repetition time may be used to compensate for the increase in noise resulting from angular undersampling.
In dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, the motion kinetics or the contrast variability are often hard to predict, hampering an appropriate choice of the image update rate or the temporal resolution. A constant azimuthal profile spacing (111.246 degrees), based on the Golden Ratio, is investigated as optimal for image reconstruction from an arbitrary number of profiles in radial MRI. The profile order is evaluated and compared with a uniform profile distribution in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and artifact level. The favorable characteristics of such a profile order are exemplified in two applications on healthy volunteers. First, an advanced sliding window reconstruction scheme is applied to dynamic cardiac imaging, with a reconstruction window that can be flexibly adjusted according to the extent of cardiac motion that is acceptable. Second, a contrast-enhancing k-space filter is presented that permits reconstructing an arbitrary number of images at arbitrary time points from one raw data set. The filter was utilized to depict the T1-relaxation in the brain after a single inversion prepulse. While a uniform profile distribution with a constant angle increment is optimal for a fixed and predetermined number of profiles, a profile distribution based on the Golden Ratio proved to be an appropriate solution for an arbitrary number of profiles.
PURPOSE: To demonstrate a rapid MR technique that combines imaging and R2* mapping based on a single radial multi-gradient-echo (rMGE) data set. The technique provides a fast method for online monitoring of the administration of (super-)paramagnetic contrast agents as well as image-guided drug delivery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data are acquired using an rMGE sequence, resulting in interleaved undersampled radial k-spaces representing different echo times (TEs). These data sets are reconstructed separately, yielding a series of images with different TEs used for pixelwise R2* mapping. A fast numerical algorithm implemented on a real-time reconstruction platform provides online estimation of the relaxation rate R2*. Simultaneously the images are summed for the computation of a high-resolution image. RESULTS: Convenient high-resolution R2* maps of phantoms and the liver of a healthy volunteer were obtained. In addition to stable intrinsic baseline maps, the proposed technique provides particularly accurate results for the high relaxation rates observed during the presence of (super-)paramagnetic contrast agents. Assuming that the change in R2* is proportional to the concentration of the agent, the technique offers a rough estimate for dynamic dosage. CONCLUSION: The simultaneous online display of morphological and parametric information permits convenient, quantitative surveillance of contrast-agent administration.