Radiofrequency pulse design for the selective excitation of dissolved 129Xe

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Abstract

Purpose:

To optimize radiofrequency (RF) pulses for the selective excitation of dissolved phase 129Xe that take into account the very short T2*, while simultaneously, minimally exciting the much larger gas signal.

Methods:

Numerical simulations of Shinnar le-Roux pulses and binomial coefficient composite-element pulses were performed and experimentally implemented on a 1.5 Tesla (T) clinical scanner. These were compared with pulses commonly used for short T2* imaging from the literature. The pulses were then experimentally tested in vivo with healthy volunteers inhaling hyperpolarized 129Xe using nuclear MR spectroscopy on a 1.5T clinical scanner.

Results:

Standard RF excitation pulses inadvertently excite the gas compartment, or are long enough that the T2* of the dissolved compartment deteriorates the received signal. Amplitude modulated binomial composite pulses perform well being short and having high selectivity, however, deteriorate at high amplifier gain setting. Composite pulses using pulse width modulation provide the desired frequency response even in these nonlinear, high gain regimes.

Conclusion:

Composite pulses provide a means of very narrow band frequency selectivity in a short duration pulse that is well suited to dissolved 129Xe imaging. Pulse width modulation maintains the desired frequency response even in the presence of amplitude distortion. Magn Reson Med 73:21–30, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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