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Keywords:

  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • echo planar imaging;
  • image processing;
  • artifacts

Abstract

An algorithm is described for reducing ghost artifacts in echo planar imaging (EPI) using phase corrections derived from images reconstructed using only even or odd k-space lines. The N/2 ghost, that arises principally from time-reversal of alternate k-space lines, was significantly reduced by this algorithm without the need for a calibration scan. In images obtained in eight subjects undergoing EPI for auditory functional MRI (fMRI) experiments, N/2 ghost intensity was reduced from 10.3% – 2.1% (range: 7.9–14.1%) to 4.5% ± 0.2% (range: 4.1–4.9%) of parent image intensity, corresponding to a percent reduction in ghost intensity of 54% ± 9% (range: 43–65%), and the algorithm restored this intensity to the parent image. It provided a significant improvement in image appearance, and increased the correlation coefficients related to neural activation in functional MRI studies. The algorithm provided reduction of artifacts from all polynomial orders of spatial phase errors in both spatial directions. The algorithm did not eliminate N/2 ghost intensity contributed by field inhomogeneities, susceptibility, or chemical shift.