Ph.D., Stanford University, Electrical Engineering (2001)
M.S., Stanford University, Electrical Engineering (1997)
B.A.Sc, Simon Fraser University, Engineering Science (1994)
I am interested in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applications including cardiovascular, abdominal, breast and musculoskeletal imaging. These applications require development of faster and more efficient MRI methods that provide improved diagnostic contrast compared with current methods. My work includes novel excitation schemes, efficient imaging methods and reconstruction tools. Please see my research site (above) for most up-to-date information.
The objective of this study is to assess the diagnostic accuracy of a new non-contrast MRI method for breast cancer detection. The study design is a single arm observational study. The new technique will be added on to the standard sequences that a women undergoes during a breast MRI. The resulting images will be compared with her standard breast MRI images, and with results of subsequent pathology.
To compare magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with more well established diagnostic imaging techniques to determine which method best finds and defines breast cancer.
To apply compressed sensing (CS) to in vivo multispectral imaging (MSI), which uses additional encoding to avoid magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) artifacts near metal, and demonstrate the feasibility of CS-MSI in postoperative spinal imaging.Thirteen subjects referred for spinal MRI were examined using T2-weighted MSI. A CS undersampling factor was first determined using a structural similarity index as a metric for image quality. Next, these fully sampled datasets were retrospectively undersampled using a variable-density random sampling scheme and reconstructed using an iterative soft-thresholding method. The fully and undersampled images were compared using a 5-point scale. Prospectively undersampled CS-MSI data were also acquired from two subjects to ensure that the prospective random sampling did not affect the image quality.A two-fold outer reduction factor was deemed feasible for the spinal datasets. CS-MSI images were shown to be equivalent or better than the original MSI images in all categories: nerve visualization: P = 0.00018; image artifact: P = 0.00031; image quality: P = 0.0030. No alteration of image quality and T2 contrast was observed from prospectively undersampled CS-MSI.This study shows that the inherently sparse nature of MSI data allows modest undersampling followed by CS reconstruction with no loss of diagnostic quality.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23750
View details for Web of Science ID 000312720000028
View details for PubMedID 22791572
T(2) mapping and diffusion-weighted imaging complement morphological imaging for assessing cartilage disease and injury. The double echo steady state sequence has been used for morphological imaging and generates two echoes with markedly different T(2) and diffusion weighting. Modifying the spoiler gradient area and flip angle of the double echo steady state sequence allows greater control of the diffusion weighting of both echoes. Data from two acquisitions with different spoiler gradient areas and flip angles are used to simultaneously estimate the T(2) and apparent diffusion coefficient of each voxel. This method is verified in phantoms and validated in vivo in the knee; estimates from different regions of interest in the phantoms and cartilage are compared to those obtained using standard spin-echo methods. The Pearson correlations were 0.984 for T(2) (?2% relative difference between spin-echo and double echo steady state estimates) and 0.997 for apparent diffusion coefficient (˜1% relative difference between spin-echo and double echo steady state estimates) for the phantom study and 0.989 for T(2) and 0.987 for apparent diffusion coefficient in regions of interest in the human knee in vivo. High accuracy for simultaneous three-dimensional T(2) and apparent diffusion coefficient measurements are demonstrated, while also providing morphologic three-dimensional images without blurring or distortion in reasonable scan times.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.23090
View details for Web of Science ID 000301533500022
View details for PubMedID 22179942
Iterative thresholding methods have been extensively studied as faster alternatives to convex optimization methods for solving large-sized problems in compressed sensing. A novel iterative thresholding method called LCAMP (Location Constrained Approximate Message Passing) is presented for reducing computational complexity and improving reconstruction accuracy when a nonzero location (or sparse support) constraint can be obtained from view shared images. LCAMP modifies the existing approximate message passing algorithm by replacing the thresholding stage with a location constraint, which avoids adjusting regularization parameters or thresholding levels. This work is first compared with other conventional reconstruction methods using random one-dimention signals and then applied to dynamic contrast-enhanced breast magnetic resonance imaging to demonstrate the excellent reconstruction accuracy (less than 2% absolute difference) and low computation time (5-10 s using Matlab) with highly undersampled three-dimentional data (244 × 128 × 48; overall reduction factor = 10). Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for PubMedID 23042658
To demonstrate accelerated imaging with both artifact reduction and different contrast mechanisms near metallic implants.Slice-encoding for metal artifact correction (SEMAC) is a modified spin echo sequence that uses view-angle tilting and slice-direction phase encoding to correct both in-plane and through-plane artifacts. Standard spin echo trains and short-TI inversion recovery (STIR) allow efficient PD-weighted imaging with optional fat suppression. A completely linear reconstruction allows incorporation of parallel imaging and partial Fourier imaging. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) effects of all reconstructions were quantified in one subject. Ten subjects with different metallic implants were scanned using SEMAC protocols, all with scan times below 11 minutes, as well as with standard spin echo methods.The SNR using standard acceleration techniques is unaffected by the linear SEMAC reconstruction. In all cases with implants, accelerated SEMAC significantly reduced artifacts compared with standard imaging techniques, with no additional artifacts from acceleration techniques. The use of different contrast mechanisms allowed differentiation of fluid from other structures in several subjects.SEMAC imaging can be combined with standard echo-train imaging, parallel imaging, partial-Fourier imaging, and inversion recovery techniques to offer flexible image contrast with a dramatic reduction of metal-induced artifacts in scan times under 11 minutes.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22112
View details for Web of Science ID 000276328200026
View details for PubMedID 20373445
Independent slab-phase modulation allows three-dimensional imaging of multiple volumes without encoding the space between volumes, thus reducing scan time. Parallel imaging further accelerates data acquisition by exploiting coil sensitivity differences between volumes. This work compared bilateral breast image quality from self-calibrated parallel imaging reconstruction methods such as modified sensitivity encoding, generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisitions and autocalibrated reconstruction for Cartesian sampling (ARC) for data with and without slab-phase modulation. A study showed an improvement of image quality by incorporating slab-phase modulation. Geometry factors measured from phantom images were more homogenous and lower on average when slab-phase modulation was used for both mSENSE and GRAPPA reconstructions. The resulting improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was validated for in vivo images as well using ARC instead of GRAPPA, illustrating average SNR efficiency increases in mSENSE by 5% and ARC by 8% based on region of interest analysis. Furthermore, aliasing artifacts from mSENSE reconstruction were reduced when slab-phase modulation was used. Overall, slab-phase modulation with parallel imaging improved image quality and efficiency for 3D bilateral breast imaging.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22115
View details for Web of Science ID 000271431200016
View details for PubMedID 19780156
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) near metallic implants remains an unmet need because of severe artifacts, which mainly stem from large metal-induced field inhomogeneities. This work addresses MRI near metallic implants with an innovative imaging technique called "Slice Encoding for Metal Artifact Correction" (SEMAC). The SEMAC technique corrects metal artifacts via robust encoding of each excited slice against metal-induced field inhomogeneities. The robust slice encoding is achieved by extending a view-angle-tilting (VAT) spin-echo sequence with additional z-phase encoding. Although the VAT compensation gradient suppresses most in-plane distortions, the z-phase encoding fully resolves distorted excitation profiles that cause through-plane distortions. By positioning all spins in a region-of-interest to their actual spatial locations, the through-plane distortions can be corrected by summing up the resolved spins in each voxel. The SEMAC technique does not require additional hardware and can be deployed to the large installed base of whole-body MRI systems. The efficacy of the SEMAC technique in eliminating metal-induced distortions with feasible scan times is validated in phantom and in vivo spine and knee studies.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21967
View details for Web of Science ID 000267404300008
View details for PubMedID 19267347
To assess the ability of adaptive sensitivity encoding incorporating temporal filtering (TSENSE) to accelerate bilateral dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) 3D breast MRI.Bilateral DCE breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams were performed using a dual-band water-only excitation and a "stack-of-spirals" imaging trajectory. TSENSE was applied in the slab direction with an acceleration factor of 2. Four different techniques for sensitivity map calculation were compared by analyzing resultant contrast uptake curves qualitatively and quantitatively for 10 patient datasets. In addition, image quality and temporal resolution were compared between unaccelerated and TSENSE images.TSENSE can increase temporal resolution by a factor of 2 in DCE imaging, providing better depiction of contrast uptake curves and good image quality. Of the different methods tested, calculation of static sensitivity maps by averaging late postcontrast frames yields the lowest aliasing artifact level based on ROI analysis.TSENSE acceleration combined with 3D spiral imaging is very time-efficient, providing 11-second temporal resolution and 1.1 x 1.1 x 3 mm(3) spatial resolution over a 20 x 20 x 10 cm(3) field of view for each breast.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.21427
View details for Web of Science ID 000261270500014
View details for PubMedID 19025951
Fully refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) is a rapid, efficient imaging sequence that can provide diagnostically useful image contrast. In SSFP, the signal is refocused midway between excitation pulses, much like in a spin-echo experiment. However, in SSFP, the phase of the refocused spins alternates for each resonant frequency interval equal to the reciprocal of the sequence repetition time (TR). Appropriate selection of the TR results in a 180 degrees phase difference between lipid and water signals. This phase difference can be used for fat-water separation in SSFP without any increase in scan time. The technique is shown to produce excellent non-contrast-enhanced, flow-independent angiograms of the peripheral vasculature.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10488
View details for Web of Science ID 000183961800028
View details for PubMedID 12815698
PURPOSE: To evaluate the performance of 2D versus 3D T2-weighted spin echo imaging in the breast. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 2D and 3D T2-weighted images were acquired in 25 patients as part of a clinically indicated breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam. Lesion-to-fibroglandular tissue signal ratio was measured in 16 identified lesions. Clarity of lesion morphology was assessed through a blinded review by three radiologists. Instances demonstrating the potential diagnostic contribution of 3D versus 2D T2-weighted imaging in the breast were noted through unblinded review by a fourth radiologist. RESULTS: The lesion-to-fibroglandular tissue signal ratio was well correlated between 2D and 3D T2-weighted images (R(2) = 0.93). Clarity of lesion morphology was significantly better with 3D T2-weighted imaging for all observers based on a McNemar test (P ≤ 0.02, P ≤ 0.01, P ≤ 0.03). Instances indicating the potential diagnostic contribution of 3D T2-weighted imaging included improved depiction of signal intensity and improved alignment between DCE and T2-weighted findings. CONCLUSION: In this pilot study, 3D T2-weighted imaging provided comparable contrast and improved depiction of lesion morphology in the breast in comparison to 2D T2-weighted imaging. Based on these results further investigation to determine the diagnostic impact of 3D T2-weighted imaging in breast MRI is warranted.J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013;00:000-000. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.24151
View details for Web of Science ID 000329753400011
View details for PubMedID 23596017
PURPOSE: To determine whether a multiphase method with high spatiotemporal resolution (STR) by means of a combination of parallel imaging, pseudorandom sampling and temporal view sharing improves the capture and intensity of gadoxetate arterial phase images as well as lesion enhancement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-seven patients were imaged with a conventional spoiled gradient echo acquisition and 48 with a high STR multiphase acquisition after the administration of gadoxetate. Arterial phase capture, image quality, and quality of fat suppression were qualitatively graded. Fourteen lesions in the conventional group and 28 in the high STR multiphase group were imaged, including 34 focal nodular hyperplasias. The ratio of lesion to parenchyma enhancement as well as relative hepatic artery enhancement were calculated. Chi-squared, Mann-Whitney U and student t-tests were used to compare differences. RESULTS: The high STR multiphase acquisition included the arterial phase more frequently than conventional acquisitions (P < 0.001), with the arterial phase missed in 17% (95% CI of 4-28%) of patients with conventional acquisition compared with 2% (95% CI of 0-6%) with the high STR multiphase acquisition. There was no loss of image quality or degree of fat saturation. Additionally, there was increased relative intensity of the hepatic arteries (P < 0.001) as well as lesion enhancement (P = 0.01). CONCLUSION: The high STR multiphase acquisition resulted in more reliable gadoxetate arterial phase capture compared with a conventional acquisition while preserving image quality with robust fat saturation J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.24048
View details for PubMedID 23371926
Changes in T1? and T2 magnetic resonance relaxation times have been associated with articular cartilage degeneration, but similar relationships for meniscal tissue have not been extensively investigated. This work examined relationships between T1? and T2 measurements and biochemical and mechanical properties across regions of degenerate human menisci.Average T1? and T2 relaxation times were determined for nine regions each of seven medial and 13 lateral menisci from 14 total knee replacement patients. Sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG), collagen and water contents were measured for each region. Biomechanical measurements of equilibrium compressive, dynamic compressive and dynamic shear moduli were made for anterior, central and posterior regions.T1? and T2 times showed similar regional patterns, with longer relaxation times in the (radially) middle region compared to the inner and outer regions. Pooled over all regions, T1? and T2 times showed strong correlations both with one another and with water content. Correlations with biochemical content varied depending on normalization to wet or dry mass, and both imaging parameters showed stronger correlations with collagen compared to sGAG content. Mechanical properties displayed moderate inverse correlations with increasing T1? and T2 times and water content.Both T1? and T2 relaxation times correlated strongly with water content and moderately with mechanical properties in osteoarthritic menisci, but not as strongly with sGAG or collagen contents alone. While the ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect early osteoarthritic changes remains the subject of investigation, these results suggest that T1? and T2 relaxation times have limited ability to detect compositional variations in degenerate menisci.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.joca.2013.03.002
View details for PubMedID 23499673
The purpose of this study was to measure and compare the relaxation times of musculoskeletal tissues at 3.0 T and 7.0 T, and to use these measurements to select appropriate parameters for musculoskeletal protocols at 7.0 T.We measured the T? and T? relaxation times of cartilage, muscle, synovial fluid, bone marrow and subcutaneous fat at both 3.0 T and 7.0 T in the knees of five healthy volunteers. The T? relaxation times were measured using a spin-echo inversion recovery sequence with six inversion times. The T? relaxation times were measured using a spin-echo sequence with seven echo times. The accuracy of both the T? and T? measurement techniques was verified in phantoms at both magnetic field strengths. We used the measured relaxation times to help design 7.0 T musculoskeletal protocols that preserve the favorable contrast characteristics of our 3.0 T protocols, while achieving significantly higher resolution at higher SNR efficiency.The T? relaxation times in all tissues at 7.0 T were consistently higher than those measured at 3.0 T, while the T? relaxation times at 7.0 T were consistently lower than those measured at 3.0 T. The measured relaxation times were used to help develop high resolution 7.0 T protocols that had similar fluid-to-cartilage contrast to that of the standard clinical 3.0 T protocols for the following sequences: proton-density-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE), T?-weighted FSE, and 3D-FSE-Cube.The T? and T? changes were within the expected ranges. Parameters for musculoskeletal protocols at 7.0 T can be optimized based on these values, yielding improved resolution in musculoskeletal imaging with similar contrast to that of standard 3.0 T clinical protocols.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.09.021
View details for Web of Science ID 000317335800012
View details for PubMedID 22172536
This article reviews current magnetic resonance imaging (MR imaging) techniques for imaging the lower extremity, focusing on imaging of the knee, ankle, and hip joints. Recent advancements in MR imaging include imaging at 7 T, using multiple receiver channels, T2* imaging, and metal suppression techniques, allowing more detailed visualization of complex anatomy, evaluation of morphologic changes within articular cartilage, and imaging around orthopedic hardware.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.rcl.2012.12.001
View details for PubMedID 23622097
To rapidly calculate and validate subject-specific field maps based on the three-dimensional shape of the bilateral breast volume.Ten healthy female volunteers were scanned at 3 Tesla using a multi-echo sequence that provides water, fat, in-phase, out-of-phase, and field map images. A shape-specific binary mask was automatically generated to calculate a computed field map using a dipole field model. The measured and computed field maps were compared by visualizing the spatial distribution of the difference field map, the mean absolute error, and the 80% distribution widths of frequency histograms.The 10 computed field maps had a mean absolute error of 38 Hz (0.29 ppm) compared with the measured field maps. The average 80% distribution widths for the histograms of all of the computed, measured, and difference field maps are 205 Hz, 233 Hz, and 120 Hz, respectively.The computed field maps had substantial overall agreement with the measured field maps, indicating that breast MRI field maps can be computed based on the air-tissue interfaces. These estimates may provide a predictive model for field variations and thus have the potential to improve applications in breast MRI.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23762
View details for Web of Science ID 000312720000025
View details for PubMedID 22865658
To demonstrate the capability of incorporating independent shims into a dual-band spectral-spatial excitation and to compare fat suppression between standard global shims and independent shims for in vivo bilateral breast imaging at 1.5T.A dual-band spectral-spatial excitation pulse was designed by interleaving two flyback spectral-spatial pulses, playing one during positive gradient lobes and the other during negative gradient lobes. Each slab was enabled to have an independent spatial offset, spectral offset, and slab-phase modulation by modulating radiofrequency phase, and independent linear shims were incorporated by playing extra shim gradients. Phantom experiments were performed to demonstrate the functionality of the pulse, and in vivo experiments were performed for 10 healthy volunteers to compare fat suppression between standard shims and independent shims.The phantom experiments confirmed that the dual-band pulse can provide independent spectral and spatial offsets and linear shims to the two slabs. Independent shims provided qualitatively more homogeneous fat suppression than standard shims in seven out of 10 subjects, with equivalent fat suppression in two of the other three subjects.Incorporating independent shims into the dual-band spectral-spatial excitation can provide homogeneous fat suppression in bilateral breast imaging. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for PubMedID 23821305
PURPOSE: To quantify B?1+ variation across the breasts and to evaluate the accuracy of precontrast T(1) estimation with and without B?1+ variation in breast MRI patients at 3 Tesla (T). MATERIALS AND METHODS: B?1+ and variable flip angle (VFA) T(1) mapping were included in our dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) breast imaging protocol to study a total of 25 patients on a 3.0T GE MR 750 system. We computed precontrast T(1) relaxation in fat, which we assumed to be consistent across a cohort of breast imaging subjects, with and without compensation for B?1+ variation. The mean and standard deviation of B?1+ and T(1) values were calculated for statistical data analysis. RESULTS: Our measurements showed a consistent B?1+ field difference between the left and right breasts. The left breast has an average 15.4% higher flip angle than the prescribed flip angle, and the right breast has an average 17.6% lower flip angle than the prescribed flip angle. This average 33% flip angle difference, which can be vendor and model specific, creates a 52% T(1) estimation bias in fat between breasts using the VFA T(1) mapping technique. The T(1) variation is reduced to 7% by including B?1+ correction. CONCLUSION: We have shown that severe B?1+ variation over the breasts can cause a substantial error in T(1) estimation between the breasts, in VFA T(1) maps at 3T, but that compensating for these variations can considerably improve accuracy of T(1) measurements, which can directly benefit quantitative breast DCE-MRI at 3T. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2012;. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for PubMedID 23292822
The minimum slice spacing in multislice imaging is limited by inter-slice crosstalk due to an imperfect slice profile. This study sought to minimize the slice spacing using matched-phase RF pulses and demonstrate its application in cerebral blood flow imaging using velocity-selective arterial spin labeling.A spin-echo matched-phase 90°-180° RF pair was designed using Shinnar-Le Roux algorithm in order to improve the slice profile of longitudinal magnetization, which plays a more critical role in creating interslice crosstalk than transverse magnetization. Both transverse and longitudinal slice profiles were compared between matched-phase RF and sinc-based RF pulses in simulations and measurements. Velocity-selective arterial spin labeling was performed in normal volunteers using both RF pulses and standard deviation of cerebral blood flow time series was calculated to examine ASL signal stability.Using designed matched-phase RF, the longitudinal slice profile was sharpened without signal-to-noise ratio loss. In velocity-selective arterial spin labeling imaging, the temporal standard deviation of cerebral blood flow measurements was reduced from 48 mL/100 g/min to 32 mL/100 g/min by 33% using matched-phase RF pulses, and as a result, cerebral blood flow image quality improved.This study reports that near-contiguous multislice imaging can be achieved using matched-phase RF pulses without compromising signal-to-noise ratio and signal stability. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for PubMedID 23857667
Gradient-echo sequences are widely used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for numerous applications ranging from angiography to perfusion to functional MRI. Compared with spin-echo techniques, the very short repetition times of gradient-echo methods enable very rapid 2D and 3D imaging, but also lead to complicated "steady states." Signal and contrast behavior can be described graphically and mathematically, and depends strongly on the type of spoiling: fully balanced (no spoiling), gradient spoiling, or radiofrequency (RF)-spoiling. These spoiling options trade off between high signal and pure T(1) contrast, while the flip angle also affects image contrast in all cases, both of which can be demonstrated theoretically and in image examples. As with spin-echo sequences, magnetization preparation can be added to gradient-echo sequences to alter image contrast. Gradient-echo sequences are widely used for numerous applications such as 3D perfusion imaging, functional MRI, cardiac imaging, and MR angiography.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23742
View details for Web of Science ID 000311381900004
View details for PubMedID 23097185
The technology of musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is advancing at a dramatic rate. MRI is now done at medium and higher field strengths with more specialized surface coils and with more variable pulse sequences and postprocessing techniques than ever before. These innumerable technical advances are advantageous as they lead to an increased signal-to-noise ratio and increased variety of soft-tissue contrast options. However, at the same time they potentially produce more imaging artifacts when compared with past techniques. Substantial technical advances have considerable clinical challenges in musculoskeletal radiology such as postoperative patient imaging, cartilage mapping, and molecular imaging. In this review we consider technical advances in hardware and software of musculoskeletal MRI along with their clinical applications.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23629
View details for Web of Science ID 000308884300002
View details for PubMedID 22987756
To develop and evaluate a multiphasic contrast-enhanced MRI method called DIfferential Sub-sampling with Cartesian Ordering (DISCO) for abdominal imaging.A three-dimensional, variable density pseudo-random k-space segmentation scheme was developed and combined with a Dixon-based fat-water separation algorithm to generate high temporal resolution images with robust fat suppression and without compromise in spatial resolution or coverage. With institutional review board approval and informed consent, 11 consecutive patients referred for abdominal MRI at 3 Tesla (T) were imaged with both DISCO and a routine clinical three-dimensional SPGR-Dixon (LAVA FLEX) sequence. All images were graded by two radiologists using quality of fat suppression, severity of artifacts, and overall image quality as scoring criteria. For assessment of arterial phase capture efficiency, the number of temporal phases with angiographic phase and hepatic arterial phase was recorded.There were no significant differences in quality of fat suppression, artifact severity or overall image quality between DISCO and LAVA FLEX images (P > 0.05, Wilcoxon signed rank test). The angiographic and arterial phases were captured in all 11 patients scanned using the DISCO acquisition (mean number of phases were two and three, respectively).DISCO effectively captures the fast dynamics of abdominal pathology such as hyperenhancing hepatic lesions with a high spatio-temporal resolution. Typically, 1.1 × 1.5 × 3 mm spatial resolution over 60 slices was achieved with a temporal resolution of 4-5 s.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23602
View details for Web of Science ID 000304035100028
View details for PubMedID 22334505
Balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) MRI is a rapid and signal-to-noise ratio-efficient imaging method, but suffers from characteristic bands of signal loss in regions of large field inhomogeneity. Several methods have been developed to reduce the severity of these banding artifacts, typically involving the acquisition of multiple bSSFP datasets (and the accompanying increase in scan time). Fat suppression with bSSFP is also challenging; most existing methods require an additional increase in scan time, and some are incompatible with bSSFP band-reduction techniques. This work was motivated by the need for both robust fat suppression and band reduction in the presence of field inhomogeneity when using bSSFP for flow-independent peripheral angiography. The large flip angles used in this application to improve vessel conspicuity and contrast lead to specific absorption rate considerations, longer repetition times, and increased severity of banding artifacts. In this work, a novel method that simultaneously suppresses fat and reduces bSSFP banding artifact with the acquisition of only two phase-cycled bSSFP datasets is presented. A weighted sum of the two bSSFP acquisitions is taken on a voxel-by-voxel basis, effectively synthesizing an off-resonance profile at each voxel that puts fat in the stop band while keeping water in the pass band. The technique exploits the near-sinusoidal shape of the bSSFP off-resonance spectrum for many tissues at large (>50°) flip angles.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.23076
View details for Web of Science ID 000301533500014
View details for PubMedID 22038883
View details for PubMedID 23083602
PURPOSE: To present and validate a new method that formalizes a direct link between k-space and wavelet domains to apply separate undersampling and reconstruction for high- and low-spatial-frequency k-space data. THEORY AND METHODS: High- and low-spatial-frequency regions are defined in k-space based on the separation of wavelet subbands, and the conventional compressed sensing problem is transformed into one of localized k-space estimation. To better exploit wavelet-domain sparsity, compressed sensing can be used for high-spatial-frequency regions, whereas parallel imaging can be used for low-spatial-frequency regions. Fourier undersampling is also customized to better accommodate each reconstruction method: random undersampling for compressed sensing and regular undersampling for parallel imaging. RESULTS: Examples using the proposed method demonstrate successful reconstruction of both low-spatial-frequency content and fine structures in high-resolution three-dimensional breast imaging with a net acceleration of 11-12. CONCLUSION: The proposed method improves the reconstruction accuracy of high-spatial-frequency signal content and avoids incoherent artifacts in low-spatial-frequency regions. This new formulation also reduces the reconstruction time due to the smaller problem size. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for PubMedID 23280540
View details for Web of Science ID 000319456200248
Accurate depiction of the vessels of the lower leg, foot or hand benefits from suppression of bright MR signal from lipid (such as bone marrow) and long-T1 fluid (such as synovial fluid and edema). Signal independence of blood flow velocities, good arterial/muscle contrast and arterial/venous separation are also desirable. The high SNR, short scan times and flow properties of balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) make it an excellent candidate for flow-independent angiography. In this work, a new magnetization-prepared 3D SSFP sequence for flow-independent peripheral angiography is presented. The technique combines a number of component techniques (phase-sensitive fat detection, inversion recovery, T2-preparation and square-spiral phase-encode ordering) to achieve high-contrast peripheral angiograms at only a modest scan time penalty over simple 3D SSFP. The technique is described in detail, a parameter optimization performed and preliminary results presented achieving high contrast and 1-mm isotropic resolution in a normal foot.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2011.04.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000295195900011
View details for PubMedID 21705166
The purpose of this article is to review some of the basic principles of imaging and how metal-induced susceptibility artifacts originate in MR images. We will describe common ways to reduce or modify artifacts using readily available imaging techniques, and we will discuss some advanced methods to correct readout-direction and slice-direction artifacts.The presence of metallic implants in MRI can cause substantial image artifacts, including signal loss, failure of fat suppression, geometric distortion, and bright pile-up artifacts. These cause large resonant frequency changes and failure of many MRI mechanisms. Careful parameter and pulse sequence selections can avoid or reduce artifacts, although more advanced imaging methods offer further imaging improvements.
View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.11.7364
View details for Web of Science ID 000294165600037
View details for PubMedID 21862795
A 16-channel receive-only, closely fitted array coil is described and tested in vivo for bilateral breast imaging at 3 T. The primary purpose of this coil is to provide high signal-to-noise ratio and parallel imaging acceleration in two directions for breast MRI. Circular coil elements (7.5-cm diameter) were placed on a closed "cup-shaped" platform, and nearest neighbor coils were decoupled through geometric overlap. Comparisons were made between the 16-channel custom coil and a commercially available 8-channel coil. SENSitivity Encoding (SENSE) parallel imaging noise amplification (g-factor) was evaluated in phantom scans. In healthy volunteers, we compared signal-to-noise ratio, parallel imaging in one and two directions, Autocalibrating Reconstruction for Cartesian sampling (ARC) g-factor, and high spatial resolution imaging. When compared with a commercially available 8-channel coil, the 16-channel custom coil shows 3.6× higher mean signal-to-noise ratio in the breast and higher quality accelerated images. In patients, the 16-channel custom coil has facilitated high-quality, high-resolution images with bidirectional acceleration of R = 6.3.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22771
View details for Web of Science ID 000292425100034
View details for PubMedID 21287593
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) near metallic implants is often hampered by severe metal artifacts. To obtain distortion-free MR images near metallic implants, SEMAC (Slice Encoding for Metal Artifact Correction) corrects metal artifacts via robust encoding of excited slices against metal-induced field inhomogeneities, followed by combining the data resolved from multiple SEMAC-encoded slices. However, as many of the resolved data elements only contain noise, SEMAC-corrected images can suffer from relatively low signal-to-noise ratio. Improving the signal-to-noise ratio of SEMAC-corrected images is essential to enable SEMAC in routine clinical studies. In this work, a new reconstruction procedure is proposed to reduce noise in SEMAC-corrected images. A singular value decomposition denoising step is first applied to suppress quadrature noise in multi-coil SEMAC-encoded slices. Subsequently, the singular value decomposition-denoised data are selectively included in the correction of through-plane distortions. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed reconstruction procedure significantly improves the SNR without compromising the correction of metal artifacts.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22796
View details for Web of Science ID 000289760800018
View details for PubMedID 21287596
Radiofrequency (RF)-spoiled gradient-echo imaging provides a signal intensity close to pure T(1) contrast by using spoiler gradients and RF phase cycling to eliminate net transverse magnetization. Generally, spins require many RF excitations to reach a steady-state magnetization level; therefore, when unsaturated flowing spins enter the imaging slab, they can cause undesirable signal enhancement and generate image artifacts. These artifacts can be reduced by partially saturating an outer slab upstream to drive the longitudinal magnetization close to the steady state, while the partially saturated spins generate no signal until they enter the imaging slab. In this work, magnetization evolution of flowing spins in RF-spoiled gradient-echo sequences with and without partial saturation was simulated using the Bloch equations. Next, the simulations were validated by phantom and in vivo experiments. For phantom experiments, a pulsatile flow phantom was used to test partial saturation for a range of flip angles and relaxation times. For in vivo experiments, the technique was used to image the carotid arteries, abdominal aorta, and femoral arteries of normal volunteers. All experiments demonstrated that partial saturation can provide consistent T(1) contrast across the slab while reducing inflow artifacts.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22729
View details for Web of Science ID 000289760800015
View details for PubMedID 21319219
To evaluate two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, slice encoding for metal artifact correction (SEMAC) and multiacquisition variable-resonance image combination (MAVRIC), for their ability to correct for artifacts in postoperative knees with metal.A total of 25 knees were imaged in this study. Fourteen total knee replacements (TKRs) in volunteers were scanned with SEMAC, MAVRIC, and 2D fast spin-echo (FSE) to measure artifact extent and implant rotation. The ability of the sequences to measure implant rotation and dimensions was compared in a TKR knee model. Eleven patients with a variety of metallic hardware were imaged with SEMAC and FSE to compare artifact extent and subsequent patient management was recorded.SEMAC and MAVRIC significantly reduced artifact extent compared to FSE (P < 0.0001) and were similar to each other (P = 0.58), allowing accurate measurement of implant dimensions and rotation. The TKRs were properly aligned in the volunteers. Clinical imaging with SEMAC in symptomatic knees significantly reduced artifact (P < 0.05) and showed findings that were on the majority confirmed by subsequent noninvasive or invasive patient studies.SEMAC and MAVRIC correct for metal artifact, noninvasively providing high-resolution images with superb bone and soft tissue contrast.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22534
View details for Web of Science ID 000289999700015
View details for PubMedID 21509870
To propose a new noncontrast-enhanced flow-independent angiography sequence based on balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) that produces reliable vessel contrast despite the reduced blood flow in the extremities.The proposed technique addresses a variety of factors that can compromise the exam success including insufficient background suppression, field inhomogeneity, and large volumetric coverage requirements. A bSSFP sequence yields reduced signal from venous blood when long repetition times are used. Complex-sum bSSFP acquisitions decrease the sensitivity to field inhomogeneity but retain phase information, so that data can be processed with the Iterative Decomposition of Water and Fat with Echo Asymmetry and Least-Squares Estimation (IDEAL) method for robust fat suppression. Meanwhile, frequent magnetization preparation coupled with parallel imaging reduces the muscle and long-T(1) fluid signals without compromising scan efficiency.In vivo flow-independent peripheral angiograms with reliable background suppression and high spatial resolution are produced. Comparisons with phase-sensitive bSSFP angiograms (that yield out-of-phase fat and water signals, and exploit this phase difference to suppress fat) demonstrate enhanced vessel depiction with the proposed technique due to reduced partial-volume effects and improved venous suppression.Magnetization-prepared complex-sum bSSFP with IDEAL fat/water separation can create reliable flow-independent angiographic contrast in the lower extremities.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22479
View details for Web of Science ID 000288913200022
View details for PubMedID 21448960
Magnetic resonance (MR) guided optical breast imaging is a promising modality to improve the specificity of breast imaging, because it provides high-resolution quantitative maps of total hemoglobin, oxygen saturation, water content, and optical scattering. These properties have been shown to distinguish malignant from benign lesions. However, the optical detection hardware required for deep tissue imaging has poor spectral sensitivity which limits accurate water quantification; this reduces the accuracy of hemoglobin quantification. We present a methodology to improve optical quantification by utilizing the ability of Dixon MR imaging to quantitatively estimate water and fat; this technique effectively reduces optical crosstalk between water and oxyhemoglobin. The techniques described in this paper reduce hemoglobin quantification error by as much as 38%, as shown in a numerical phantom, and an experimental phantom. Error is reduced by as much 20% when imperfect MR water quantification is given. These techniques may also increase contrast between diseased and normal tissue, as shown in breast tissue in vivo. It is also shown that using these techniques may permit fewer wavelengths to be used with similar quantitative accuracy, enabling higher temporal resolution. In addition, it is shown that these techniques can improve the ability of MRI to quantify water in the presence of bias in the Dixon water/fat separation.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2010.2071394
View details for Web of Science ID 000285844900014
View details for PubMedID 20813635
The recently developed multi-acquisition with variable resonance image combination (MAVRIC) and slice-encoding metal artifact correction (SEMAC) techniques can significantly reduce image artifacts commonly encountered near embedded metal hardware. These artifact reductions are enabled by applying alternative spectral and spatial-encoding schemes to conventional spin-echo imaging techniques. Here, the MAVRIC and SEMAC concepts are connected and discussed. The development of a hybrid technique that utilizes strengths of both methods is then introduced. The presented technique is shown capable of producing minimal artifact, high-resolution images near total joint replacements in a clinical setting.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22523
View details for Web of Science ID 000285963500009
View details for PubMedID 20981709
Variable flip angles are used in steady-state free precession (SSFP) acquisitions (e.g., time-of-flight) but to a lesser extent than in spin echo acquisitions. In balanced steady-state free precession, imaging is often assumed to occur during the steady state, which has been well described in the literature. However, in many cases, imaging occurs during the transient stage, and the use of variable flip angles can improve signal and thus image quality. Here, we present the calculation of flip angles in transient balanced steady-state free precession to generate a predefined signal profile. The signal profile was iteratively optimized to maximize the integral of the signal versus time curve. The key contribution of this work is the formulation of the flip angle as a deterministic function of the preceding and desired magnetization. Catalyzation schemes, e.g., Kaiser-windowed ramp, can be combined with variable flip angles balanced steady-state free precession to reduce signal oscillations. A uniform signal profile was used as an example to demonstrate the variable flip angle algorithm. Accuracy of the algorithm and Bloch simulations were verified with MRI phantom acquisitions. Renal angiograms were acquired using an inflow-based balanced steady-state free precession MR angiography technique; improved small-vessel depiction was observed in volunteer examinations.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22541
View details for PubMedID 20632411
to create a custom-shaped graft through 3D tissue shape reconstruction and rapid-prototype molding methods using MRI data, and to test the accuracy of the custom-shaped graft against the original anatomical defect.An iatrogenic defect on the distal femur was identified with a 1.5 Tesla MRI and its shape was reconstructed into a three-dimensional (3D) computer model by processing the 3D MRI data. First, the accuracy of the MRI-derived 3D model was tested against a laser-scan based 3D model of the defect. A custom-shaped polyurethane graft was fabricated from the laser-scan based 3D model by creating custom molds through computer aided design and rapid-prototyping methods. The polyurethane tissue was laser-scanned again to calculate the accuracy of this process compared to the original defect.The volumes of the defect models from MRI and laser-scan were 537 mm3 and 405 mm3, respectively, implying that the MRI model was 33% larger than the laser-scan model. The average (±SD) distance deviation of the exterior surface of the MRI model from the laser-scan model was 0.4 ± 0.4 mm. The custom-shaped tissue created from the molds was qualitatively very similar to the original shape of the defect. The volume of the custom-shaped cartilage tissue was 463 mm3 which was 15% larger than the laser-scan model. The average (±SD) distance deviation between the two models was 0.04 ± 0.19 mm.This investigation proves the concept that custom-shaped engineered grafts can be fabricated from standard sequence 3-D MRI data with the use of CAD and rapid-prototyping technology. The accuracy of this technology may help solve the interfacial problem between native cartilage and graft, if the grafts are custom made for the specific defect. The major source of error in fabricating a 3D custom-shaped cartilage graft appears to be the accuracy of a MRI data itself; however, the precision of the model is expected to increase by the utilization of advanced MR sequences with higher magnet strengths.
View details for Web of Science ID 000284234600006
View details for PubMedID 21058268
The desire to apply magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques in the vicinity of embedded metallic hardware is increasing. The soft-tissue contrast available with MR techniques is advantageous in diagnosing complications near an increasing variety of MR-safe metallic hardware. Near such hardware, the spatial encoding mechanisms utilized in conventional MRI methods are often severely compromised. Mitigating these encoding difficulties has been the focus of numerous research investigations over the past two decades. Such approaches include view-angle tilting, short echo-time projection reconstruction acquisitions, single-point imaging, prepolarized MRI, and postprocessing image correction. Various technical advances have also enabled the recent development of two alternative approaches that have shown promising clinical potential. Here, the physical principals and proposed solutions to the problem of MRI near embedded metal are discussed.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22313
View details for Web of Science ID 000282764800002
View details for PubMedID 20882607
The technology of musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging is advancing at a dramatic rate. Magnetic resonance imaging is now done at medium and higher field strengths with more specialized surface coils and with more variable pulse sequences and postprocessing techniques than ever before. These numerable technical advances are advantageous because they lead to an increased signal-to-noise ratio and increased variety of soft tissue contrast options. However, at the same time, they potentially produce more imaging artifacts when compared with past techniques. Substantial technical advances have considerable clinical challenges in musculoskeletal radiology such as postoperative patient imaging, cartilage mapping, and molecular imaging. In this review, we consider technical advances in hardware and software of musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging along with their clinical applications.
View details for DOI 10.1097/RMR.0b013e31823cd195
View details for PubMedID 22129646
To evaluate a novel soft, lightweight cushion that can match the magnetic susceptibility of human tissue. The magnetic susceptibility difference between air and tissue produces field inhomogeneities in the B(0) field, which leads to susceptibility artifacts in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies.Pyrolytic graphite (PG) microparticles were uniformly embedded into a foam cushion to reduce or eliminate field inhomogeneities at accessible air and tissue interfaces. 3T MR images and field maps of an air/water/PG foam phantom were acquired. Q measurements on a 4T tuned head coil and pulse sequence heating tests at 3T were also performed.The PG foam improved susceptibility matching, reduced the field perturbations in phantoms, does not heat, and is nonconductive.The susceptibility matched PG foam is lightweight, safe for patient use, adds no noise or MRI artifacts, is compatible with radiofrequency coil arrays, and improves B(0) homogeneity, which enables more robust MR studies.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22270
View details for Web of Science ID 000281532700019
View details for PubMedID 20815067
To develop a method that combines parallel imaging and compressed sensing to enable faster and/or higher spatial resolution magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and show its feasibility in a pediatric clinical setting.Institutional review board approval was obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study, and informed consent or assent was given by subjects. A pseudorandom k-space undersampling pattern was incorporated into a three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo sequence; aliasing then has an incoherent noiselike pattern rather than the usual coherent fold-over wrapping pattern. This k-space-sampling pattern was combined with a compressed sensing nonlinear reconstruction method that exploits the assumption of sparsity of medical images to permit reconstruction from undersampled k-space data and remove the noiselike aliasing. Thirty-four patients (15 female and 19 male patients; mean age, 8.1 years; range, 0-17 years) referred for cardiovascular, abdominal, and knee MR imaging were scanned with this 3D gradient-echo sequence at high acceleration factors. Obtained k-space data were reconstructed with both a traditional parallel imaging algorithm and the nonlinear method. Both sets of images were rated for image quality, radiologist preference, and delineation of specific structures by two radiologists. Wilcoxon and symmetry tests were performed to test the hypothesis that there was no significant difference in ratings for image quality, preference, and delineation of specific structures.Compressed sensing images were preferred more often, had significantly higher image quality ratings, and greater delineation of anatomic structures (P < .001) than did images obtained with the traditional parallel reconstruction method.A combination of parallel imaging and compressed sensing is feasible in a clinical setting and may provide higher resolution and/or faster imaging, addressing the challenge of delineating anatomic structures in pediatric MR imaging.
View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.10091218
View details for Web of Science ID 000280272100032
View details for PubMedID 20529991
To compare signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and T*(2) maps at 3 T and 7 T using 3D cones from in vivo sodium images of the human knee.Sodium concentration has been shown to correlate with glycosaminoglycan content of cartilage and is a possible biomarker of osteoarthritis. Using a 3D cones trajectory, 17 subjects were scanned at 3 T and 12 at 7 T using custom-made sodium-only and dual-tuned sodium/proton surface coils, at a standard resolution (1.3 x 1.3 x 4.0 mm(3)) and a high resolution (1.0 x 1.0 x 2.0 mm(3)). We measured the SNR of the images and the T*(2) of cartilage at both 3 T and 7 T.The average normalized SNR values of standard-resolution images were 27.1 and 11.3 at 7 T and 3 T. At high resolution, these average SNR values were 16.5 and 7.3. Image quality was sufficient to show spatial variations of sodium content. The average T*(2) of cartilage was measured as 13.2 +/- 1.5 msec at 7 T and 15.5 +/- 1.3 msec at 3 T.We acquired sodium images of patellar cartilage at 3 T and 7 T in under 26 minutes using 3D cones with high resolution and acceptable SNR. The SNR improvement at 7 T over 3 T was within the expected range based on the increase in field strength. The measured T*(2) values were also consistent with previously published values.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22191
View details for Web of Science ID 000280447300028
View details for PubMedID 20677276
To design and evaluate a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol to be incorporated in the simulation process for external beam accelerated partial breast irradiation.An imaging protocol was developed based on an existing breast MRI technique with the patient in the prone position on a dedicated coil. Pulse sequences were customized to exploit T1 and T2 contrast mechanisms characteristic of lumpectomy cavities. A three-dimensional image warping algorithm was included to correct for geometric distortions related to nonlinearity of spatially encoding gradients. Respiratory motion, image distortions, and susceptibility artifacts of 3.5-mm titanium surgical clips were examined. Magnetic resonance images of volunteers were acquired repeatedly to analyze residual setup deviations resulting from breast tissue deformation.The customized sequences generated high-resolution magnetic resonance images emphasizing lumpectomy cavity morphology. Respiratory motion was negligible with the subject in the prone position. The gradient-induced nonlinearity was reduced to less than 1 mm in a region 15 cm away from the isocenter of the magnet. Signal-void regions of surgical clips were 4 mm and 8 mm for spin echo and gradient echo images, respectively. Typical residual repositioning errors resulting from breast deformation were estimated to be 3 mm or less.MRI guidance for accelerated partial breast irradiation with the patient in the prone position with adequate contrast, spatial fidelity, and resolution is possible.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.03.063
View details for Web of Science ID 000269328700045
View details for PubMedID 19632067
MRI is the most accurate noninvasive method available to diagnose disorders of articular cartilage. Conventional 2D and 3D approaches show changes in cartilage morphology. Faster 3D imaging methods with isotropic resolution can be reformatted into arbitrary planes for improved detection and visualization of pathology. Unique contrast mechanisms allow us to probe cartilage physiology and detect changes in cartilage macromolecules.MRI has great promise as a noninvasive comprehensive tool for cartilage evaluation.
View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.09.3042
View details for Web of Science ID 000269305600007
View details for PubMedID 19696274
Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study. The purpose was to prospectively compare multiecho iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) gradient-echo (GRE) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with three-dimensional fat-suppressed (FS) spoiled GRE (SPGR) MR imaging to evaluate the articular cartilage of the knee. Six healthy volunteer and 10 cadaver knees were imaged at 1.5 T. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), SNR efficiency, and cartilage volume were measured. SNR and SNR efficiency were significantly higher with multiecho IDEAL GRE than with FS SPGR imaging (P < .031). Both methods produced equivalent cartilage volumes (overall concordance correlation coefficient, 0.998) with high precision and accuracy. The use of a cartilage phantom confirmed high accuracy in volume measurements and high reproducibility for both methods. Multiecho IDEAL GRE provides high signal intensity in cartilage and synovial fluid and is a promising technique for imaging articular cartilage of the knee.
View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2522081424
View details for Web of Science ID 000268875900032
View details for PubMedID 19528355
Flow-independent angiography is a non-contrast-enhanced technique that can generate vessel contrast even with reduced blood flow in the lower extremities. A method is presented for producing these angiograms with magnetization-prepared balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP). Because bSSFP yields bright fat signal, robust fat suppression is essential for detailed depiction of the vasculature. Therefore, several strategies have been investigated to improve the reliability of fat suppression within short scan times. Phase-sensitive SSFP can efficiently suppress fat; however, partial volume effects due to fat and water occupying the same voxel can lead to the loss of blood signal. In contrast, alternating repetition time (ATR) SSFP minimizes this loss; however, the level of suppression is compromised by field inhomogeneity. Finally, a new double-acquisition ATR-SSFP technique reduces this sensitivity to off-resonance. In vivo results indicate that the two ATR-based techniques provide more reliable contrast when partial volume effects are significant.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21921
View details for Web of Science ID 000266429900031
View details for PubMedID 19365850
Multiecho sequences provide an efficient means to acquire multiple echoes in a single repetition, which has found applications in spectroscopy, relaxometry, and water-fat separation. By replacing the fly-back gradients in unipolar multiecho sequences with alternating readout gradients, bipolar multiecho sequences greatly reduce both echo-spacing and repetition interval. This offers many attractive advantages, such as shorter scan times, higher SNR efficiency, more robust field map estimation, reduced motion-induced artifacts, and less sensitivity to short T(2)*. However, the alternating readout gradients cause several technical problems, including delay effects and image misregistrations, which prevent direct application of existing water-fat separation methods. This work presents solutions to address these problems, including a post-processing method that shifts k-space data to correct k-space echo misalignment, an image warping method that utilizes a low-resolution field map to remove field-inhomogeneity-induced misregistration, and a k-space water-fat separation method that eliminates chemical-shift-induced artifacts in separated water and fat images. In addition, a noise amplification factor, which characterizes the noise present in separated images, is proposed to serve as a useful guideline for choosing imaging parameters or regularization parameters in the case of ill-conditioned separation. The proposed methods are validated both in phantoms and in vivo to enable reliable and SNR efficient water-fat separation with bipolar multiecho sequences.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21583
View details for Web of Science ID 000257267700023
View details for PubMedID 18581362
Dynamic nuclear polarization and dissolution of a (13)C-labeled substrate enables the dynamic imaging of cellular metabolism. Spectroscopic information is typically acquired, making the acquisition of dynamic volumetric data a challenge. To enable rapid volumetric imaging, a spectral-spatial excitation pulse was designed to excite a single line of the carbon spectrum. With only a single resonance present in the signal, an echo-planar readout trajectory could be used to resolve spatial information, giving full volume coverage of 32 x 32 x 16 voxels every 3.5s. This high frame rate was used to measure the different lactate dynamics in different tissues in a normal rat model and a mouse model of prostate cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmr.2008.03.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000256891700019
View details for PubMedID 18424203
Many diagnostic MRI sequences demand reliable and uniform fat suppression. Multipoint water-fat separation methods, which are based on chemical-shift induced phase differences, have shown great success in the presence of field inhomogeneities. This work presents a computationally efficient and robust field map estimation method. The method begins with subsampling image data into a multiresolution image pyramidal structure, and then utilizes a golden section search to directly locate possible field map values at the coarsest level of the pyramidal structure. The field map estimate is refined and propagated to increasingly finer resolutions in an efficient manner until the full-resolution field map is obtained for final water-fat separation. The proposed method is validated with multiecho sequences where long echo-spacings normally impose great challenges on reliable field map estimation.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21544
View details for Web of Science ID 000257267700029
View details for PubMedID 18581397
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging is limited by off-resonance banding artifacts, which occur with periodicity 1/TR in the frequency spectrum. A novel balanced SSFP technique for widening the band spacing in the frequency response is described. This method, called wideband SSFP, utilizes two alternating repetition times with alternating RF phase, and maintains high SNR and T(2)/T(1) contrast. For a fixed band spacing, this method can enable improvements in spatial resolution compared to conventional SSFP. Alternatively, for a fixed readout duration this method can widen the band spacing, and potentially avoid the banding artifacts in conventional SSFP. The method is analyzed using simulations and phantom experiments, and is applied to the reduction of banding artifacts in cine cardiac imaging and high-resolution knee imaging at 3T.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21296
View details for Web of Science ID 000250560000010
View details for PubMedID 17969129
Certain applications of MRI, such as bilateral breast imaging, require simultaneous imaging of multiple volumes. Although image data can be acquired sequentially, the SNR is often improved if both slabs are excited and imaged together, typically with phase encoding across a volume including both slabs and the space between them. The use of independent phase modulation of multiple slabs eliminates the need to encode empty space between slabs, which can result in a significant time reduction. Each slab is excited with a phase proportional to phase-encode number such that the slab positions in the acquired data are shifted to reduce empty space. With careful consideration this technique is compatible with different pulse sequences (e.g., spin-echo, gradient-echo, RF spoiling, and balanced SSFP (bSSFP)) and acceleration strategies (e.g., partial k-space and parallel imaging). This technique was demonstrated in phantoms and applied to bilateral breast imaging, where scan times were reduced by 20-30%.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21180
View details for Web of Science ID 000245474600019
View details for PubMedID 17390355
To combine gradient-echo (GRE) imaging with a multipoint water-fat separation method known as "iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least squares estimation" (IDEAL) for uniform water-fat separation. Robust fat suppression is necessary for many GRE imaging applications; unfortunately, uniform fat suppression is challenging in the presence of B(0) inhomogeneities. These challenges are addressed with the IDEAL technique.Echo shifts for three-point IDEAL were chosen to optimize noise performance of the water-fat estimation, which is dependent on the relative proportion of water and fat within a voxel. Phantom experiments were performed to validate theoretical SNR predictions. Theoretical echo combinations that maximize noise performance are discussed, and examples of clinical applications at 1.5T and 3.0T are shown.The measured SNR performance validated theoretical predictions and demonstrated improved image quality compared to unoptimized echo combinations. Clinical examples of the liver, breast, heart, knee, and ankle are shown, including the combination of IDEAL with parallel imaging. Excellent water-fat separation was achieved in all cases. The utility of recombining water and fat images into "in-phase," "out-of-phase," and "fat signal fraction" images is also discussed.IDEAL-SPGR provides robust water-fat separation with optimized SNR performance at both 1.5T and 3.0T with multicoil acquisitions and parallel imaging in multiple regions of the body.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20831
View details for Web of Science ID 000244698800025
View details for PubMedID 17326087
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with its unique ability to image and characterize soft tissue noninvasively, has emerged as one of the most accurate imaging methods available to diagnose bone and joint pathology. Currently, most evaluation of musculoskeletal pathology is done with two-dimensional acquisition techniques such as fast spin echo (FSE) imaging. The development of three-dimensional fast imaging methods based on balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) shows great promise to improve MRI of the musculoskeletal system. These methods may allow acquisition of fluid sensitive isotropic data that can be reformatted into arbitrary planes for improved detection and visualization of pathology. Sensitivity to fluid and fat suppression are important issues in these techniques to improve delineation of cartilage contours, for detection of marrow edema and derangement of other joint structures.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20819
View details for Web of Science ID 000244133000006
View details for PubMedID 17260387
To describe and evaluate a fast, fluid-suppressed 2D multislice steady-state free precession (SSFP) neuroimaging sequence.We developed a fast fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery SSFP sequence for use in neuroimaging. The inversion time (TI) was optimized to yield good cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) suppression while conserving white matter (WM)/lesion contrast across a broad range of flip angles. Multiple SSFP acquisitions were combined using the sum-of-squares (SOS) method to maximize SNR efficiency while minimizing SSFP banding artifacts. We compared our fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) SSFP sequence with FLAIR fast spin-echo (FSE) in both normal subjects and a volunteer with multiple sclerosis. SNR measurements were performed to ascertain the SNR efficiency of each sequence.Our FLAIR SSFP sequence demonstrated excellent CSF suppression and good gray matter (GM)/WM contrast. Coverage of the entire brain (5-mm slices, 24-cm FOV, 256 x 192 matrix) was achieved with FLAIR SSFP in less than half the scan time of a corresponding FLAIR FSE sequence with similar SNR, yielding improvements of more than 50% in SNR efficiency. Axial scans of a volunteer with multiple sclerosis show clearly visible plaques and very good visualization of brain parenchyma.We have demonstrated the feasibility of a very fast fluid-suppressed neuroimaging technique using SSFP.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20743
View details for Web of Science ID 000242562000031
View details for PubMedID 17036358
MRI is one of the most accurate imaging methods available to diagnose disorders of articular cartilage. Conventional two-dimensional and three-dimensional approaches show changes in cartilage morphology. Newer and substantially faster three-dimensional imaging methods show great promise to improve MRI of cartilage. These methods may allow acquisition of fluid-sensitive isotropic data that can be reformatted into arbitrary planes for improved detection and visualization of pathology. Unique MRI contrast mechanisms also allow clinicians to probe cartilage physiology and detect early changes in cartilage macromolecules.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ocl.2006.04.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000239903400007
View details for PubMedID 16846765
Recently a novel T2 selective imaging method based on linear combination (LC) filtering was developed. By linearly combining images acquired with different echo times LC filtering is able to generate images showing only tissues with a preselected range of T2 relaxation times. In this study the use of LC filtering in knee imaging was investigated. Three LC filters were designed: a short LC filter for imaging the knee meniscus, a medium LC filter for articular cartilage, and a long LC filter for synovial fluid. To verify the filter designs, eight phantoms with different T2 relaxation times were imaged. In addition, in vivo images were acquired from four asymptomatic volunteers and a subject with cartilage damage. T2 maps were also generated using the same source images. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) measurements were made of the meniscus, cartilage, and fluid regions on the three LC filtered images. The highest SNR was seen in the target tissue on each of the LC filtered images. LC filtering is a new method that can selectively image knee tissues based on their T2.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20678
View details for Web of Science ID 000237151600029
View details for PubMedID 16586458
In functional MRI (fMRI) the resonance frequency shift induced from respiration is a major source of physiological noise. In transition-band SSFP fMRI the respiration-induced resonance offset not only increases noise interference, it also shifts the activation band. This leads to a reduction in the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and the potential for varying contrast levels during the experiment. A novel real-time method that compensates for the respiration-induced resonance offset frequency is presented. This method utilizes free induction decay (FID) phase information to measure the resonance offset. For compensation, one can update the resonant frequency in real time by changing the transmit RF pulse and receiver phases to track the measured offset. The results show decreased signal power in the respiration frequency band and increased numbers of activated voxels with higher Z-scores compared to uncompensated experiments.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20879
View details for Web of Science ID 000237151600030
View details for PubMedID 16598728
The 3D Cones k-space trajectory has many desirable properties for rapid and ultra-short echo time magnetic resonance imaging. An algorithm is presented that generates the 3D Cones gradient waveforms given a desired field of view and resolution. The algorithm enables a favorable trade-off between increases in readout time and decreases in the total number of required readouts. The resulting trajectory is very signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficient and has excellent aliasing properties. A rapid high-resolution ultra-short echo time imaging sequence is used to compare the 3D Cones trajectory to 3D projection reconstruction (3DPR) sampling schemes. For equivalent scan times, the 3D Cones trajectory has better SNR performance and fewer aliasing artifacts as compared to the 3DPR trajectory.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20796
View details for Web of Science ID 000235858400015
View details for PubMedID 16450366
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences use fully re-focussed gradient waveforms to achieve a high signal and useful image contrast in short scan times. Despite these strengths, the clinical feasibility of balanced SSFP is still limited both by bright fat signal and by the signal voids that result from off-resonance effects such as field or susceptibility variations. A new method, dual-acquisition phase-sensitive SSFP, combines the signals from two standard balanced SSFP acquisitions to separate fat and water while simultaneously reducing the signal voids. The acquisitions are added in quadrature and then phase corrected using a simple algorithm before fat and water can be identified simply by the sign of the signal. This method is especially useful for applications at high field, where the RF power deposition, spatial resolution requirements and gradient strength limit the minimum repetition times. Finally, dual-acquisition phase-sensitive SSFP can be combined with other magnetization preparation schemes to produce specific image contrast in addition to separating fat and water signals.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2005.10.013
View details for Web of Science ID 000235506400002
View details for PubMedID 16455400
Multislice breath-held coronary imaging techniques conventionally lack the coverage of free-breathing 3D acquisitions but use a considerably shorter acquisition window during the cardiac cycle. This produces images with significantly less motion artifact but a lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). By using the extra SNR available at 3 T and undersampling k-space without introducing significant aliasing artifacts, we were able to acquire high-resolution fat-suppressed images of the whole heart in 17 heartbeats (a single breath-hold). The basic pulse sequence consists of a spectral-spatial excitation followed by a variable-density spiral readout. This is combined with real-time localization and a real-time prospective shim correction. Images are reconstructed with the use of gridding, and advanced techniques are used to reduce aliasing artifacts.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20765
View details for Web of Science ID 000235326500019
View details for PubMedID 16408262
Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study, whose purpose was to prospectively compare three magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques-fluctuating equilibrium, three-dimensional (3D) spoiled gradient-recalled acquisition in the steady state (SPGR), and two-dimensional (2D) fast spin echo (SE)-for evaluating articular cartilage in the knee. The study cohort consisted of 10 healthy volunteers (four men, six women; age range, 26-42 years). Cartilage signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), SNR efficiency, cartilage-fluid contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), CNR efficiency, image quality, cartilage visibility, and fat suppression were compared. Cartilage volume was compared for the fluctuating equilibrium and 3D SPGR techniques. Compared with 3D SPGR and 2D fast SE, fluctuating equilibrium yielded the highest cartilage SNR efficiency and cartilage-fluid CNR efficiency (P < .01 for both). Image quality was similar with all sequences. Fluctuating equilibrium imaging yielded higher cartilage visibility than did 2D fast SE imaging (P <. 01) but worse fat suppression than did 3D SPGR and 2D fast SE imaging (P < .04). Cartilage volume measurements with fluctuating equilibrium and 3D SPGR were similar. Fluctuating equilibrium MR imaging is a promising method for evaluating articular cartilage in the knee.
View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2381042183
View details for Web of Science ID 000234859100040
View details for PubMedID 16436826
Microcontroller-based circuitry was built and tested for automatically tuning flexible RF receiver coils at the touch of a button. This circuitry is robust to 10% changes in probe center frequency, is in line with the scanner, and requires less than 1 s to tune a simple probe. Images were acquired using this circuitry with a varactor-tunable 1-inch flexible probe in a phantom and in an in vitro porcine knee model. The phantom experiments support the use of automatic tuning by demonstrating 30% signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) losses for 5% changes in coil center frequency, in agreement with theoretical calculations. Comparisons between patellofemoral cartilage images obtained using a 3-inch surface coil and the surgically-implanted 1-inch flexible coil reveal a worst-case local SNR advantage of a factor of 4 for the smaller coil. This work confirms that surgically implanted coils can greatly improve resolution in small-field-of-view (FOV) applications, and demonstrates the importance and feasibility of automatically tuning such probes.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20616
View details for Web of Science ID 000232348000027
View details for PubMedID 16155871
In areas of highly pulsatile and turbulent flow, real-time imaging with high temporal, spatial, and velocity resolution is essential. The use of 1D Fourier velocity encoding (FVE) was previously demonstrated for velocity measurement in real time, with fewer effects resulting from off-resonance. The application of variable-density sampling is proposed to improve velocity measurement without a significant increase in readout time or the addition of aliasing artifacts. Two sequence comparisons are presented to improve velocity resolution or increase the velocity field of view (FOV) to unambiguously measure velocities up to 5 m/s without aliasing. The results from a tube flow phantom, a stenosis phantom, and healthy volunteers are presented, along with a comparison of measurements using Doppler ultrasound (US). The studies confirm that variable-density acquisition of kz-kv space improves the velocity resolution and FOV of such data, with the greatest impact on the improvement of FOV to include velocities in stenotic ranges.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20594
View details for Web of Science ID 000231494000016
View details for PubMedID 16088883
Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, with its unique ability to noninvasively image and characterize soft tissue, has shown promise in assessment of cartilage. The development of new, fast imaging methods with high contrast will improve the MR evaluation of cartilage morphology. In addition to morphological MR imaging methods, MR imaging contrast mechanisms under development may reveal detailed information regarding the physiology of cartilage. However, many of these methods remain to be tested in the clinical setting. Protocol selection for cartilage imaging requires understanding of the patient population and the advantages and limitations of these techniques.
View details for Web of Science ID 000230039200008
View details for PubMedID 16044384
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences are useful in cardiac imaging because they achieve high signal efficiency and excellent blood-myocardium contrast. Spiral imaging enables the efficient acquisition of cardiac images with reduced flow and motion artifacts. Balanced SSFP has been combined with spiral imaging for real-time interactive cardiac MRI. New features of this method to enable scanning in a clinical setting include short, first-moment nulled spiral trajectories and interactive control over the spatial location of banding artifacts (SSFP-specific signal variations). The feasibility of spiral balanced SSFP cardiac imaging at 1.5 T is demonstrated. In observations from over 40 volunteer and patient studies, spiral balanced SSFP imaging shows significantly improved contrast compared to spiral gradient-spoiled imaging, producing better visualization of cardiac function, improved localization, and reduced flow artifacts from blood.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20489
View details for Web of Science ID 000229468200031
View details for PubMedID 15906302
The aim of this work was to show the potential utility of a novel rapid 3D fat-suppressed MRI method for joint imaging.Phase-sensitive steady-state free precession provides rapid 3D joint imaging with robust fat suppression and excellent cartilage delineation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000228875300013
View details for PubMedID 15855095
To verify the potential of ungated spiral phase-contrast (USPC), which has been shown to provide accurate and reproducible time-averaged measurements of pulsatile flow, for rapid measurement of renal artery blood flow (RABF) in vivo.The RABF rates of 11 normal human subjects and one patient with renal failure were measured with USPC within six seconds.Rapid USPC scans produced reproducible RABF measurements (SD < or = 9%) that agreed with the normal RABF rates known from the literature. The RABF rates of the patient with renal failure were substantially less (<50-65%) than the normal RABF rates.The results demonstrate that it is now possible to obtain rapid and consistent RABF measurements within six seconds with USPC.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20325
View details for Web of Science ID 000228653600012
View details for PubMedID 15834919
To evaluate three-dimensional driven equilibrium Fourier transform (3D-DEFT) for image quality and detection of articular cartilage lesions in the knee.We imaged 104 consecutive patients with knee pain with 3D-DEFT and proton density (PD-FSE) and T2-weighted (T2-FSE) fast spin echo. Twenty-four went on to arthroscopy. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) efficiency were measured. Subjective image quality, fat suppression, and cartilage thickness visibility were assessed. Cartilage lesions on 3D-DEFT and T2-FSE were compared with findings outlined in operative reports.SNR efficiency was higher for 3D-DEFT and PD-FSE than for T2-FSE (P < 0.02). 3D-DEFT and PD-FSE showed superior cartilage thickness visibility compared with T2-FSE (P < 0.02). T2-FSE showed better fat suppression and fewer image artifacts than 3D-DEFT (P < 0.04). 3D-DEFT had similar sensitivity and similar specificity for cartilage lesions compared with PD-FSE and T2-FSE.3D-DEFT provides excellent synovial fluid-to-cartilage contrast while preserving signal from cartilage, giving this method a high cartilage SNR. 3D-DEFT shows the full cartilage thickness better than T2-FSE. T2-FSE had superior fat saturation and fewer artifacts than 3D-DEFT. Overall, 3D-DEFT requires further technical development, but is a promising method for imaging articular cartilage.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jhmi.20276
View details for Web of Science ID 000228029900022
View details for PubMedID 15779031
To compare signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) and contrast-to-noise ratios (C/N) in various MR sequences, including fat-suppressed three-dimensional spoiled gradient-echo (SPGR) imaging, fat-suppressed fast spin echo (FSE) imaging, and fat-suppressed three-dimensional driven equilibrium Fourier transform (DEFT) imaging, and to determine the diagnostic accuracy of these imaging sequences for detecting cartilage lesions in osteoarthritic knees, as compared with arthroscopy.Two sagittal fat-suppressed FSE images (repetition time [TR] / echo time [TE], 4000/13 [FSE short TE] and 4000/39 [FSE long TE]), sagittal fat-suppressed three-dimensional SPGR images (60/5, 40 degrees flip angle), and sagittal fat-suppressed echo-planar three-dimensional DEFT images (400/21.2) were acquired in 35 knees from 28 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The S/N efficiencies (S/Neffs) of cartilage, synovial fluid, muscle, meniscus, bone marrow, and fat tissue, and the C/N efficiencies (C/Neffs) of these structures were calculated. Kappa values, exact agreement, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were determined by comparison of MR grading with arthroscopic results.The synovial fluid S/Neff on fat-suppressed FSE short TE images, fat-suppressed FSE long TE images, and fat-suppressed three-dimensional DEFT images showed similar values. Fat-suppressed three-dimensional DEFT images showed the highest fluid-cartilage C/Neff of all sequences. All images showed fair to good agreement with arthroscopy (kappa, 0.615 in FSE short TE, 0.601 in FSE long TE, 0.583 in three-dimensional SPGR, and 0.561 in three-dimensional DEFT). Although the sensitivity of all sequences was high (100% in FSE short TE, FSE long TE, and DEFT; 96.7% in SPGR), specificity was relatively low (67.6% in FSE short TE and FSE long TE; 85.3% in SPGR; 58.3% in DEFT). The peripheral area of bone marrow edema or whole area of bone marrow edema on fat-suppressed FSE images was demonstrated as low or iso-signal intensity on fat-suppressed three-dimensional DEFT images.Fat-suppressed three-dimensional SPGR imaging and fat-suppressed FSE imaging showed high sensitivity and high negative predictive values, but relatively low specificity. The Kappa value and exact agreement was the highest on fat-suppressed FSE short TE images. Fat-suppressed three-dimensional DEFT images showed results similar to the conventional sequences.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20193
View details for Web of Science ID 000224762700017
View details for PubMedID 15503323
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging sequences require short repetition times (TRs) to avoid off-resonance artifacts. The use of slab-selective excitations is common, as this can improve imaging speed by limiting the field of view (FOV). However, the necessarily short-duration excitations have poor slab profiles. This results in unusable slices at the slab edge due to significant flip-angle variations or aliasing in the slab direction. Variable-rate selective excitation (VERSE) is a technique by which a time-varying gradient waveform is combined with a modified RF waveform to provide the same excitation profile with different RF power and duration characteristics. With the use of VERSE, it is possible to design short-duration pulses with dramatically improved slab profiles. These pulses achieve high flip angles with only minor off-resonance sensitivity, while meeting SAR limits at 1.5 T. The improved slab profiles will enable more rapid 3D imaging of limited volumes, with more consistent image contrast across the excited slab.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20168
View details for Web of Science ID 000223529200020
View details for PubMedID 15334579
Refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) is limited by its high sensitivity to local field variation, particularly at high field strengths or the long repetition times (TRs) necessary for high resolution. Several methods have been proposed to reduce SSFP banding artifact by combining multiple phase-cycled SSFP acquisitions, each differing in how individual signal magnitudes and phases are combined. These include maximum-intensity SSFP (MI-SSFP) and complex-sum SSFP (CS-SSFP). The reduction in SSFP banding is accompanied by a loss in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficiency. In this work a general framework for analyzing banding artifact reduction, contrast, and SNR of any multiple-acquisition SSFP combination method is presented. A new sum-of-squares method is proposed, and a comparison is performed between each of the combination schemes. The sum-of-squares SSFP technique (SOS-SSFP) delivers both robust banding artifact reduction and higher SNR efficiency than other multiple-acquisition techniques, while preserving SSFP contrast.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20052
View details for Web of Science ID 000221239000022
View details for PubMedID 15122688
Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has strong potential as a diagnostic for early cartilage damage, with clinical impact for diseases such as osteoarthritis. However, in vivo DWI of cartilage has proven difficult with conventional methods due to the short T2. This work presents a 3D steady-state DWI sequence that is able to image short-T2 species with high SNR. When combined with 2D navigator correction of motion-induced phase artifacts, this method enables high resolution in vivo DWI of cartilage. In vivo knee images in healthy subjects are presented with high SNR (SNR = 110) and submillimeter in-plane resolution (0.5 x 0.7 x 3.0 mm(3)). A method for fitting the diffusion coefficient is presented which produces fits within 10% of literature values. This method should be applicable to other short-T2 tissues, such as muscle, which are difficult to image using traditional DWI methods.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10696
View details for Web of Science ID 000188718600023
View details for PubMedID 14755666
View details for Web of Science ID 000225461801389
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is limited in many cases by long scan times and low spatial resolution. Recent advances in gradient systems hardware allow very rapid imaging sequences, such as steady-state free precession (SSFP), which has repetition times (TRs) of 2-5 ms. The design of these rapid sequences demands time-optimal preparatory gradient waveforms to provide maximum readout duty-cycle, and preserve spatial resolution and SNR while keeping TRs low. Time-optimal gradient waveforms can be synthesized analytically for certain simple cases. However, certain problems, such as time-optimal 2D and 3D gradient design with moment constraints, either may not have a solution or must be solved numerically. We show that time-optimal gradient design is a convex-optimization problem, for which very efficient solution methods exist. These methods can be applied to solve gradient design problems for oblique gradient design, spiral imaging, and flow-encoding using either a constant slew rate or the more exact voltage-limited gradient models. Ultimately, these methods provide a time-optimal solution to many 2D and 3D gradient design problems in a sufficiently short time for interactive imaging.
View details for Web of Science ID 000188041500012
View details for PubMedID 14705048
The standard method for FMRI, using the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) effect, has significant limitations that result from the coupling of functional contrast to sources of image artifact. We have developed an alternative method for FMRI based on balanced-SSFP imaging. This method uses the balanced-SSFP phase profile to invert the signal in deoxygenated blood relative to oxygenated blood. The resulting blood oxygenation sensitive steady-state (BOSS) signal decouples functional contrast from imaging, enabling significantly better image quality than BOLD FMRI. BOSS FMRI is very SNR-efficient, achieves strong functional contrast and is relatively immune to susceptibility gradients. In this paper, we present results validating the ability to detect functional activity using BOSS FMRI. One of the potential advantages of BOSS FMRI is the ability to acquire high-resolution data due to the SNR efficiency of balanced-SSFP. Preliminary high resolution results (1 x 1 x 2 mm/sup 3/) at 1.5 T are presented.
View details for PubMedID 17271520
Variable-density k-space sampling using a stack-of-spirals trajectory is proposed for ultra fast 3D imaging. Since most of the energy of an image is concentrated near the k-space origin, a variable-density k-space sampling method can be used to reduce the sampling density in the outer portion of k-space. This significantly reduces scan time while introducing only minor aliasing artifacts from the low-energy, high-spatial-frequency components. A stack-of-spirals trajectory allows control over the density variations in both the k(x)-k(y) plane and the k(z) direction while fast k-space coverage is provided by spiral trajectories in the k(x)-k(y) plane. A variable-density stack-of-spirals trajectory consists of variable-density spirals in each k(x)-k(y) plane that are located in varying density in the k(z) direction. Phantom experiments demonstrate that reasonable image quality is preserved with approximately half the scan time. This technique was then applied to first-pass perfusion imaging of the lower extremities which demands very rapid volume coverage. Using a variable-density stack-of-spirals trajectory, 3D images were acquired at a temporal resolution of 2.8 sec over a large volume with a 2.5 x 2.5 x 8 mm(3) spatial resolution. These images were used to resolve the time-course of muscle intensity following contrast injection.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10644
View details for Web of Science ID 000186991500019
View details for PubMedID 14648576
A technique for extended field of view MRI is presented. Similar to helical computed tomography, the method utilizes a continuously moving patient table, a 2D axial slice that remains fixed relative to the MRI magnet, and a radial k-space trajectory. A fully refocused SSFP acquisition enables spatial resolution comparable to current clinical protocols in scan times that are sufficiently short to allow a reasonable breathhold duration. RF transmission and signal reception are performed using the RF body coil and the images are reconstructed in real time. Experimental results are presented that illustrate the technique's ability to resolve small structures in the table-motion direction. Simulation experiments to study the steady-state response of the fully refocused SSFP acquisition during continuous table motion are also presented. Finally, whole body images of healthy volunteers demonstrate the high image quality achieved using the helical MRI approach.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10621
View details for Web of Science ID 000186326400019
View details for PubMedID 14587016
Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional MRI (fMRI) is an important method for functional neuroimaging that is sensitive to changes in blood oxygenation related to brain activation. While BOLD imaging has good spatial coverage and resolution relative to other neuroimaging methods (such as positron emission tomography (PET)), it has significant limitations relative to other MRI techniques, including poor spatial resolution, low signal levels, limited contrast, and image artifacts. These limitations derive from the coupling of BOLD functional contrast to sources of image degradation. This work presents an alternative method for fMRI that may over-come these limitations by establishing a blood oxygenation sensitive steady-state (BOSS) that inverts the signal from deoxygenated blood relative to the water signal. BOSS fMRI allows the imaging parameters to be optimized independently of the functional contrast, resulting in fewer image artifacts and higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In addition, BOSS fMRI has greater functional contrast than BOLD. BOSS fMRI requires careful shimming and multiple acquisitions to obtain a precise alignment of the magnetization to the SSFP frequency response.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10602
View details for Web of Science ID 000185698000004
View details for PubMedID 14523951
The high prevalence of osteoarthritis continues to demand improved accuracy in detecting cartilage injury and monitoring its response to different treatments. MRI is the most accurate noninvasive method of diagnosing cartilage lesions. However, MR imaging of cartilage is limited by scan time, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and image contrast. Recently, there has been renewed interest in SNR-efficient imaging sequences for imaging cartilage, including various forms of steady-state free-precession as well as driven-equilibrium imaging. This work compares several of these sequences with existing methods, both theoretically and in normal volunteers. Results show that the new steady-state methods increase SNR-efficiency by as much as 30% and improve cartilage-synovial fluid contrast by a factor of three. Additionally, these methods markedly decrease minimum scan times, while providing 3D coverage without the characteristic blurring seen in fast spin-echo images.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10424
View details for Web of Science ID 000182007200013
View details for PubMedID 12652541
Magnetic resonance imaging, with its multiplanar imaging capability and superior soft-tissue contrast, has become the preferred method for imaging sports-related injuries. Advances in gradient technology, receiver coils, and imaging software have allowed the imaging of the injured athlete to take place quickly and at high resolution. Understanding the tissues being imaged, the underlying anatomy, and the capabilities of today's scanners is crucial to the design of intelligent and efficient protocols.
View details for PubMedID 12606866
Refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging sequences have recently regained popularity as faster gradient hardware has allowed shorter repetition times, thereby reducing SSFP's sensitivity to off-resonance effects. Although these sequences offer fast scanning with good signal-to-noise efficiency, the "transient response," or time taken to reach a steady-state, can be long compared with the total imaging time, particularly when using 2D sequences. This results in lost imaging time and has made SSFP difficult to use for real-time and cardiac-gated applications. A linear-systems analysis of the steady-state and transient response for general periodic sequences is shown. The analysis is applied to refocused-SSFP sequences to generate a two-stage method of "catalyzing," or speeding up the progression to steady-state by first scaling, then directing the magnetization. This catalyzing method is compared with previous methods in simulations and experimentally. Although the second stage of the method exhibits some sensitivity to B(1) variations, our results show that the transient time can be significantly reduced, allowing imaging in a shorter total scan time. Magn Reson Med 46:149-158, 2001.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169561000019
View details for PubMedID 11443721
Cartilage injury resulting in osteoarthritis is a frequent cause of disability in young people. Osteoarthritis, based on either cartilage injury or degeneration, is a leading cause of disability in the United States. Over the last several decades, much progress has been made in understanding cartilage injury and repair. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, with its unique ability to noninvasively image and characterize soft tissue, has shown promise in assessment of cartilage integrity. In addition to standard MR imaging methods, MR imaging contrast mechanisms under development may reveal detailed information regarding the physiology and morphology of cartilage. MR imaging will play a crucial role in assessing the success or failure of therapies for cartilage injury and degeneration.
View details for PubMedID 9894740
The high incidence of osteoarthritis and the recent advent of several new surgical and non-surgical treatment approaches have motivated the development of quantitative techniques to assess cartilage loss. Although magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is the most accurate non-invasive diagnostic modality for evaluating articular cartilage, improvements in spatial resolution, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) would be valuable. Cartilage presents an imaging challenge due to its short T(2) relaxation time and its low water content compared with surrounding materials. Current methods sacrifice cartilage signal brightness for contrast between cartilage and surrounding tissue such as bone, bone marrow, and joint fluid. A new technique for imaging articular cartilage uses driven equilibrium Fourier transform (DEFT), a method of enhancing signal strength without waiting for full T(1) recovery. Compared with other methods, DEFT imaging provides a good combination of bright cartilage and high contrast between cartilage and surrounding tissue. Both theoretical predictions and images show that DEFT is a valuable method for imaging articular cartilage when compared with spoiled gradient-recalled acquisition in the steady state (SPGR) or fast spin echo (FSE). The cartilage SNR for DEFT is as high as that of either FSE or SPGR, while the cartilage-synovial fluid CNR of DEFT is as much as four times greater than that of FSE or SPGR. Implemented as a three-dimensional sequence, DEFT can achieve coverage comparable to that of other sequences in a similar scan time. Magn Reson Med 42:695-703, 1999.
View details for Web of Science ID 000082944400011
View details for PubMedID 10502758