Increasing efficiency of parallel imaging for 2D multislice acquisitions

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Parallel imaging algorithms require precise knowledge about the spatial sensitivity variation of the receiver coils to reconstruct images with full field of view (FOV) from undersampled Fourier encoded data. Sensitivity information must either be given a priori, or estimated from calibration data acquired along with the actual image data. In this study, two approaches are presented, which require very little or no additional data at all for calibration in two-dimensional multislice acquisitions. Instead of additional data, information from spatially adjacent slices is used to estimate coil sensitivity information, thereby increasing the efficiency of parallel imaging. The proposed approaches rely on the assumption that over a small range of slices, coil sensitivities vary smoothly in slice direction. Both methods are implemented as variants of the GRAPPA algorithm. For a given effective acceleration, superior image quality is achieved compared to the conventional GRAPPA method. For the latter calibration lines for coil weight computation must be acquired in addition to the undersampled k-spaces for coil weight computation, thus requiring higher k-space undersampling, that is, a higher reduction factor to achieve the same effective acceleration. The proposed methods are particularly suitable to speed up parallel imaging for clinical applications where the reduction factor is limited to two or three. Magn Reson Med 2009 © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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