• inner-volume imaging;
  • parallel excitation;
  • multidimensional spatially selective excitation pulses;
  • three-dimensional k-space trajectory


This work describes the first experimental realization of three-dimensional spatially selective excitation using parallel transmission in vivo. For the design of three-dimensional parallel excitation pulses with short durations and high excitation accuracy, the choice of a suitable transmit k-space trajectory is crucial. For this reason, the characteristics of a stack-of-spirals trajectory and of a concentric-shells trajectory were examined in an initial simulation study. It showed that, especially when undersampling the trajectories in combination with parallel transmission, experimental parameters such as transmit-coil geometry and off-resonance conditions have an essential impact on the suitability of the selected trajectory and undersampling scheme. Both trajectories were applied in MR inner-volume imaging experiments which demonstrate that acceptably short and robust three-dimensional selective pulses can be achieved if the trajectory is temporally optimized and its actual path is measured and considered during pulse calculation. Pulse durations as short as 3.2 ms were realized and such pulses were appropriate to accurately excite arbitrarily shaped volumes in a corn cob and in a rat in vivo. Reduced field-of-view imaging of these selectively excited targets allowed high spatial resolution and significantly reduced measurement times and furthermore demonstrates the feasibility of three-dimensional parallel excitation in realistic MRI applications in vivo. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.