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Radially encoded MRI has gained increasing attention due to its motion insensitivity and reduced artifacts. However, because its samples are collected nonuniformly in the k-space, multidimensional (especially 3-D) radially sampled MRI image reconstruction is challenging. The objective of this paper is to develop a reconstruction technique in high dimensions with on-the-fly kernel calculation. It implements general multidimensional nonuniform fast Fourier transform (NUFFT) algorithms and incorporates them into a k-space image reconstruction framework. The method is then applied to reconstruct from the radially encoded k-space data, although the method is applicable to any non-Cartesian patterns. Performance comparisons are made against the conventional Kaiser-Bessel (KB) gridding method for 2-D and 3-D radially encoded computer-simulated phantoms and physically scanned phantoms. The results show that the NUFFT reconstruction method has better accuracy-efficiency tradeoff than the KB gridding method when the kernel weights are calculated on the fly. It is found that for a particular conventional kernel function, using its corresponding deapodization function as a scaling factor in the NUFFT framework has the potential to improve accuracy. In particular, when a cosine scaling factor is used, the NUFFT method is faster than KB gridding method since a closed-form solution is available and is less computationally expensive than the KB kernel (KB griding requires computation of Bessel functions). The NUFFT method has been successfully applied to 2-D and 3-D in vivo studies on small animals.
Date of Publication: April 2009