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Combined MR data acquisition of multicontrast images using variable acquisition parameters and K-space data sharing

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3 Author(s)
Mekle, R. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; Laine, A.F. ; Wu, E.X.

A new technique to reduce clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan time by varying acquisition parameters and sharing k-space data between images, is proposed. To improve data utilization, acquisition of multiple images of different contrast is combined into a single scan, with variable acquisition parameters including repetition time (TR), echo time (TE), and echo train length (ETL). This approach is thus referred to as a "combo acquisition." As a proof of concept, simulations of MRI experiments using spin echo (SE) and fast SE (FSE) sequences were performed based on Bloch equations. Predicted scan time reductions of 25%-50% were achieved for 2-contrast and 3-contrast combo acquisitions. Artifacts caused by nonuniform k-space data weighting were suppressed through semi-empirical optimization of parameter variation schemes and the phase encoding order. Optimization was assessed by minimizing three quantitative criteria: energy of the "residue point spread function (PSF)," energy of "residue profiles" across sharp tissue boundaries, and energy of "residue images." In addition, results were further evaluated by quantitatively analyzing the preservation of contrast, the PSF, and the signal-to-noise ratio. Finally, conspicuity of lesions was investigated for combo acquisitions in comparison with standard scans. Implications and challenges for the practical use of combo acquisitions are discussed.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 7 )