DREAM—a novel approach for robust, ultrafast, multislice B1 mapping



A novel multislice B1-mapping method dubbed dual refocusing echo acquisition mode is proposed, able to cover the whole transmit coil volume in only one second, which is more than an order of magnitude faster than established approaches. The dual refocusing echo acquisition mode technique employs a stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM) preparation sequence followed by a tailored single-shot gradient echo sequence, measuring simultaneously the stimulated echo and the free induction decay as gradient-recalled echoes, and determining the actual flip angle of the STEAM preparation radiofrequency pulses from the ratio of the two measured signals. Due to an elaborated timing scheme, the method is insensitive against susceptibility/chemical shift effects and can deliver a B0 phase map and a transceive phase map for free. The approach has only a weak T1 and T2 dependence and moreover, causes only a low specific absorption rate (SAR) burden. The accuracy of the method with respect to systematic and statistical errors is investigated both, theoretically and in experiments on phantoms. In addition, the performance of the approach is demonstrated in vivo in B1-mapping and radiofrequency shimming experiments on the abdomen, the legs, and the head on an eight-channel parallel transmit 3 T MRI system. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.