Self-navigated interleaved spiral (SNAILS): Application to high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging



A fat-saturated twice-refocused spin echo sequence was implemented on a GE Signa 1.5-T whole-body system for diffusion-weighted imaging. Data were acquired using an analytically designed interleaved variable-density (VD) spiral readout trajectory. This flexible design algorithm allowed real-time prescription on the scanner. Each interleaf of the VD spiral oversampled the center of k-space. The oversampling provided an inherent motion compensation capability. The resultant diffusion-weighted images showed good quality without any retrospective motion correction. An iterated motion correction algorithm was developed to further reduce the signal cancellation artifact caused by motion-induced phase error. In this algorithm, a low-resolution phase map was estimated using the oversampled data in the center of k-space in order to correct for phase error in image space.

In vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies were performed on the brains of healthy volunteers. High-quality isotropic diffusion-weighted images, trace maps, and FA maps from axial, sagittal, and coronal slices were obtained using a VD spiral readout trajectory with matrix size 256 × 256. To our knowledge, this was also the first time in vivo 512 × 512 DTI results were reported. Magn Reson Med 52:1388–1396, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.