Background: Two-dimensional (2D) spatially selective radiofrequency (RF) pulses may be used to excite restricted volumes. By incorporating a "pencil beam" 2D pulse into a T2-Prep, one may create a "2D-T2-Prep" that combines T2-weighting with an intrinsic outer volume suppression. This may particularly benefit parallel imaging techniques, where artefacts typically originate from residual foldover signal. By suppressing foldover signal with a 2D-T2-Prep, image quality may therefore improve. We present numerical simulations, phantom and in vivo validations to address this hypothesis. Methods: A 2D-T2-Prep and a conventional T2-Prep were used with GRAPPA-accelerated MRI (R = 1.6). The techniques were first compared in numerical phantoms, where per pixel maps of SNR (SNRmulti), noise, and g-factor were predicted for idealized sequences. Physical phantoms, with compartments doped to mimic blood, myocardium, fat, and coronary vasculature, were scanned with both T2-Preparation techniques to determine the actual SNRmulti and vessel sharpness. For in vivo experiments, the right coronary artery (RCA) was imaged in 10 healthy adults, using accelerations of R = 1,3, and 6, and vessel sharpness was measured for each. Results: In both simulations and phantom experiments, the 2D-T2-Prep improved SNR relative to the conventional T2-Prep, by an amount that depended on both the acceleration factor and the degree of outer volume suppression. For in vivo images of the RCA, vessel sharpness improved most at higher acceleration factors, demonstrating that the 2D-T2-Prep especially benefits accelerated coronary MRA. Conclusion: Suppressing outer volume signal with a 2D-T2-Prep improves image quality particularly well in GRAPPA-accelerated acquisitions in simulations, phantoms, and volunteers, demonstrating that it should be considered when performing accelerated coronary MRA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)