Sheared two-dimensional radiofrequency excitation for off-resonance robustness and fat suppression in reduced field-of-view imaging

Date
2022-09-30
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Source Title
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Print ISSN
0740-3194
Electronic ISSN
1522-2594
Publisher
Wiley
Volume
88
Issue
6
Pages
2504 - 2519
Language
English
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Abstract

Purpose: Two-dimensional (2D) echo-planar radiofrequency (RF) pulses are widely used for reduced field-of-view (FOV) imaging in applications such as diffusion-weighted imaging. However, long pulse durations render the 2D RF pulses sensitive to off-resonance effects, causing local signal losses in reduced-FOV images. This work aims to achieve off-resonance robustness for 2D RF pulses via a sheared trajectory design. Theory and Methods: A sheared 2D RF pulse design is proposed to reduce pulse durations while covering identical excitation k-space extent as a standard 2D RF pulse. For a given shear angle, the number of sheared trajectory lines is minimized to obtain the shortest pulse duration, such that the excitation replicas are repositioned outside the slice stack to guarantee unlimited slice coverage. A target fat/water signal ratio of 5% is chosen to achieve robust fat suppression. Results: Simulations, imaging experiments on a custom head and neck phantom, and in vivo imaging experiments in the spinal cord at 3 T demonstrate that the sheared 2D RF design provides significant improvement in image quality while preserving profile sharpnesses. In regions with high off-resonance effects, the sheared 2D RF pulse improves the signal by more than 50% when compared to the standard 2D RF pulse. Conclusion: The proposed sheared 2D RF design successfully reduces pulse durations, exhibiting significantly improved through-plane off-resonance robustness, while providing unlimited slice coverage and high fidelity fat suppression. This method will be especially beneficial in regions suffering from a variety of off-resonance effects, such as spinal cord and breast. © 2022 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

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