Rationale and Objectives. Many clinical applications of Magnetic Resonance Imaging are constrained by basic limits on imaging speed. Parallel MRI relaxes these limits by using the sensitivity patterns of arrays of radiofrequency receiver coils to encode spatial information in a manner complementary to traditional encoding with magnetic field gradients. Until now, parallel MRI has been used to achieve modest improvements in imaging speed; order-of-magnitude improvements have been elusive given fundamental losses in signal-to-noise ratio. The goal of this work was to demonstrate that, with appropriate hardware and careful SNR management, rapid volumetric imaging at high accelerations is in fact feasible. Materials and Methods. Contrast-enhanced MRI with an axial 3D spoiled gradient echo imaging sequence was performed in healthy adult subjects using a 32-element RF coil array and a prototype 32-channel MR imaging system. Large imaging volumes were prescribed, in place of traditional limited slabs targeted only to suspect regions. Results. As much as 16-fold net accelerations of imaging were achieved repeatably using this approach. The use of large 3D volumes allowed comprehensive anatomical coverage at clinically useful spatial and/or temporal resolution. The need for careful, time-consuming, and subject-specific scan prescription was also eliminated. Conclusion. The highly parallel imaging approach presented here allows previously inaccessible volumetric coverage for time-sensitive MRI examinations such as contrast-enhanced MRA, and simultaneously provides a substantially simplified imaging paradigm. The resulting capability for rapid volumetric imaging promises to combine the strengths of MRI with some of the advantages of alternative imaging modalities such as multidetector CT.
- Parallel MRI
- Rapid MRI
- Volumetric imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging