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Keywords:

  • phase imaging;
  • multi-channel coils;
  • phase offsets;
  • MCPC-3D

Abstract

A method is presented for the combination of phase images from multi-channel RF coils in the absence of a volume reference coil. It is based on the subtraction of 3D phase offset maps from the phase data from each coil. Phase offset maps are weighted combinations of phase measurements at two echo times. Multi-Channel Phase Combination using measured 3D phase offsets (MCPC-3D) offers a conceptually and computationally simple solution to the calculation of combined phase images. The dual-echo data required for the phase maps can be intrinsic to the high-resorlution gradient-echo scan to be reconstructed (MCPC-3D-I). Alternatively, a separate, fast, low-resolution dual-echo scan can be used (MCPC-3D-II). Both variants are shown to give near perfect phase matching, yielding images with high SNR throughout and high GM-WM contrast. MCPC-3D is compared with other reference-free phase image crombination methods; high-pass phase filtering, phase difference imaging, and matching using constant offsets (MCPC-C). Multi-Channel Phase Combination using measured 3D phase offsets method does not need an overlap between the signals from individual coils and can be used with parallel imaging, making it ideally suited to multi-channel coils with a large number of elements, and to high and ultra-high field systems. Magn Reson Med, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.