WE-G-18C-07: Accelerated Water/fat Separation in MRI for Radiotherapy Planning Using Multi-Band Imaging Techniques




Dixon sequences are used to characterize disease processes, obtain good fat or water separation in cases where fat suppression fails and to obtain pseudo-CT datasets. Dixon's method uses at least two images acquired with different echo times and thus requires prolonged acquisition times. To overcome associated problems (e.g., for DCE/cine-MRI), we propose to use a method for water/fat separation based on spectrally selective RF pulses.


Two alternating RF pulses were used, that imposes a fat selective phase cycling over the phase encoding lines, which results in a spatial shift for fat in the reconstructed image, identical to that in CAIPIRINHA. Associated aliasing artefacts were resolved using the encoding power of a multi-element receiver array, analogous to SENSE. In vivo measurements were performed on a 1.5T clinical MR-scanner in a healthy volunteer's legs, using a four channel receiver coil. Gradient echo images were acquired with TE/TR = 2.3/4.7ms, flip angle 20°, FOV 45×22.5cm2, matrix 480×216, slice thickness 5mm. Dixon images were acquired with TE,1/TE,2/TR=2.2/4.6/7ms. All image reconstructions were done in Matlab using the ReconFrame toolbox (Gyrotools, Zurich, CH).


RF pulse alternation yields a fat image offset from the water image. Hence the water and fat images fold over, which is resolved using in-plane SENSE reconstruction. Using the proposed technique, we achieved excellent water/fat separation comparable to Dixon images, while acquiring images at only one echo time.


The proposed technique yields both inphase water and fat images at arbitrary echo times and requires only one measurement, thereby shortening the acquisition time by a factor 2. In future work the technique may be extended to a multi-band water/fat separation sequence that is able to achieve single point water/fat separation in multiple slices at once and hence yields higher speed-up factors.