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Keywords:

  • parallel imaging;
  • GRAPPA;
  • nonlinear filtering;
  • reproducible kernel Hilbert space;
  • kernel method;
  • regularization

Abstract

GRAPPA linearly combines the undersampled k-space signals to estimate the missing k-space signals where the coefficients are obtained by fitting to some auto-calibration signals (ACS) sampled with Nyquist rate based on the shift-invariant property. At high acceleration factors, GRAPPA reconstruction can suffer from a high level of noise even with a large number of auto-calibration signals. In this work, we propose a nonlinear method to improve GRAPPA. The method is based on the so-called kernel method which is widely used in machine learning. Specifically, the undersampled k-space signals are mapped through a nonlinear transform to a high-dimensional feature space, and then linearly combined to reconstruct the missing k-space data. The linear combination coefficients are also obtained through fitting to the ACS data but in the new feature space. The procedure is equivalent to adding many virtual channels in reconstruction. A polynomial kernel with explicit mapping functions is investigated in this work. Experimental results using phantom and in vivo data demonstrate that the proposed nonlinear GRAPPA method can significantly improve the reconstruction quality over GRAPPA and its state-of-the-art derivatives. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.