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Motion degrades magnetic resonance (MR) images and prevents acquisition of self-consistent and high-quality volume images. A novel methodology, Snapshot magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with volume reconstruction (SVR) has been developed for imaging moving subjects at high resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The method combines registered 2D slices from sequential dynamic single-shot scans. The SVR approach requires that the anatomy in question is not changing shape or size and is moving at a rate that allows snapshot images to be acquired. After imaging the target volume repeatedly to guarantee sufficient sampling every where, a robust slice-to-volume registration method has been implemented that achieves alignment of each slice within 0.3 mm in the examples tested. Multilevel scattered interpolation has been used to obtain high-fidelity reconstruction with root-mean-square (rms) error that is less than the noise level in the images. The SVR method has been performed successfully for brain studies on subjects that cannot stay still, and in some cases were moving substantially during scanning. For example, awake neonates, deliberately moved adults and, especially, on fetuses, for which no conventional high-resolution 3D method is currently available. Fine structure of the in-utero fetal brain is clearly revealed for the first time and substantial SNR improvement is realized by having many individually acquired slices contribute to each voxel in the reconstructed image.
Date of Publication: July 2007