Gradient-modulated SWIFT

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Abstract

Purpose:

Methods designed to image fast-relaxing spins, such as sweep imaging with Fourier transformation (SWIFT), often utilize high excitation bandwidth and duty cycle, and in some applications the optimal flip angle cannot be used without exceeding safe specific absorption rate (SAR) levels. The aim is to reduce SAR and increase the flexibility of SWIFT by applying time-varying gradient-modulation (GM). The modified sequence is called GM-SWIFT.

Theory and Methods:

The method known as gradient-modulated offset independent adiabaticity was used to modulate the radiofrequency (RF) pulse and gradients. An expanded correlation algorithm was developed for GM-SWIFT to correct the phase and scale effects. Simulations and phantom and in vivo human experiments were performed to verify the correlation algorithm and to evaluate imaging performance.

Results:

GM-SWIFT reduces SAR, RF amplitude, and acquisition time by up to 90%, 70%, and 45%, respectively, while maintaining image quality. The choice of GM parameter influences the lower limit of short T2* sensitivity, which can be exploited to suppress unwanted image haze from unresolvable ultrashort T2* signals originating from plastic materials in the coil housing and fixatives.

Conclusions:

GM-SWIFT reduces peak and total RF power requirements and provides additional flexibility for optimizing SAR, RF amplitude, scan time, and image quality. Magn Reson Med 75:537–546, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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