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Keywords:

  • echo-planar spectroscopic imaging;
  • parallel imaging;
  • SENSE;
  • regularization;
  • large array coil

Abstract

MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) with whole brain coverage in clinically feasible acquisition times still remains a major challenge. A combination of MRSI with parallel imaging has shown promise to reduce the long encoding times and 2D acceleration with a large array coil is expected to provide high acceleration capability. In this work a very high-speed method for 3D-MRSI based on the combination of proton echo planar spectroscopic imaging (PEPSI) with regularized 2D-SENSE reconstruction is developed. Regularization was performed by constraining the singular value decomposition of the encoding matrix to reduce the effect of low-value and overlapped coil sensitivities. The effects of spectral heterogeneity and discontinuities in coil sensitivity across the spectroscopic voxels were minimized by unaliasing the point spread function. As a result the contamination from extracranial lipids was reduced 1.6-fold on average compared to standard SENSE. We show that the acquisition of short-TE (15 ms) 3D-PEPSI at 3 T with a 32 × 32 × 8 spatial matrix using a 32-channel array coil can be accelerated 8-fold (R = 4 × 2) along y-z to achieve a minimum acquisition time of 1 min. Maps of the concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate, creatine, choline, and glutamate were obtained with moderate reduction in spatial-spectral quality. The short acquisition time makes the method suitable for volumetric metabolite mapping in clinical studies. Magn Reson Med, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.