Improved clinical echo-planar MRI using spatial-spectral excitation

Authors

  • Fritz Schick MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Institute of Physics, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
    • Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Institute of Physics, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Jürgen Forster,

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Institute of Physics, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Jürgen Machann,

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Institute of Physics, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Reinhard Kuntz MD,

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Institute of Physics, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Claus D. Claussen MD

    1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Institute of Physics, Department of Neuroradiology, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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Abstract

Echo-planar imaging (EPI) is markedly susceptible to B0 field distortions and to frequency differences caused by chemical shift, because the phase of the signals is accumulating during the acquisition train. Thus, only water proton signals are usually recorded after frequency-selective suppression of the fat portions of magnetization. Otherwise, a shifted signal frequency from fat results in ghosting artifacts. In this article, a technique is presented working with spatial-spectral excitation for highly selective water or fat EPI. The proposed method allows recording in multislice operation on EPI scanners without irregular gradient or RF pulse shapes. Examples of gradient-echo and spin-echo EPI using spatial-spectral excitation by series of two to eight single slice-selective RF pulses are demonstrated. The method is not sensitive to misadjustments or inhomogeneities of the B1 field, but sufficient homogeneity of the static magnetic field B0 is required. Especially the quality of diffusion-weighted echo-planar images can be markedly improved by the new technique compared to conventional EPI, because artifacts from undesired chemical shift components are completely avoided.

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