Rapid Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain Without Susceptibility Artifacts: Single-Shot STEAM With Radial Undersampling and Iterative Reconstruction

2017 | journal article; research paper. A publication of Göttingen

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​Rapid Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain Without Susceptibility Artifacts: ​Single-Shot STEAM With Radial Undersampling and Iterative Reconstruction​
Merrem, A.; Hofer, S. ; Voit, D.; Merboldt, K.-D.; Klosowski, J.; Untenberger, M. & Fleischhammer, J.  et al.​ (2017) 
Investigative Radiology52(7) pp. 428​-433​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/RLI.0000000000000357 

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Merrem, Andreas; Hofer, Sabine ; Voit, Dirk; Merboldt, K.-Dietmar; Klosowski, Jakob; Untenberger, Markus; Fleischhammer, Julius ; Frahm, Jens 
Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a rapid diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique for whole-brain studies without susceptibility artifacts and measuring times below 3 minutes. Materials and Methods: The proposed method combines a DWspin-echo module with a single-shot stimulated echo acquisition mode MRI sequence. Previous deficiencies in image quality due to limited signal-to-noise ratio are compensated for (1) by radial undersampling to enhance the flip angle and thus the signal strength of stimulated echoes; (2) by defining the image reconstruction as a non-linear inverse problem, which is solved by the iteratively regularized Gauss-Newton method; and (3) by denoising with use of a modified nonlocal means filter. The method was implemented on a 3 TMRI system(64-channel head coil, 80 mT . m gradients) and evaluated for 10 healthy subjects and 2 patients with an ischemic lesion and epidermoid cyst, respectively. Results: High-quality mean DW images of the entire brain were obtained by acquiring 1 non-DW image and 6 DW images with different diffusion directions at b = 1000 s . mm. The achievable resolution for a total measuring time of 84 seconds was 1.5 mm in plane with a section thickness of 4 mm (55 sections). A measuring time of 168 seconds allowed for an in-plane resolution of 1.25 mm and a section thickness of 3 mm (54 sections). Apparent diffusion coefficient values were in agreement with literature data. Conclusions: The proposed method for DWMRI offers immunity against susceptibility problems, high spatial resolution, adequate signal-to-noise ratio and clinically feasible scan times of less than 3 minutes for whole-brain studies. More extended clinical trials require accelerated computation and online reconstruction.
Issue Date
Investigative Radiology 
1536-0210; 0020-9996



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