Simultaneous multislice imaging in dynamic cardiac MRI at 7T using parallel transmission

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Cardiac MRI at 7T suffers from contrast heterogeneity that can be mitigated with parallel transmission (pTX) and, when performed during breath-hold, from a limited number of slices that can be multiplied with multiband (MB) radiofrequency pulses by simultaneous excitation of multiple slices (SMS). The goal of this study was to apply both approaches simultaneously.


Using a 16-channel transmit/receive body coil, pTX SMS was applied with/without CAIPIRINHA with a modified gradient echo cine sequence. Different calibration schemes were investigated for the slice-GRAPPA reconstruction kernels as a function of the cardiac cycle.


Excellent slice separation for MB = 2 was achieved with CAIPIRINHA, with slice leakage values below 3% for 99% of all voxels. A critical finding of this study was the variation of the MB leakage factor in the heart by as much as 30% throughout the cardiac cycle, which was reduced greatly when reconstruction kernels were calibrated on multiple cardiac phases. Acceptable results were still obtained when applying further acceleration with MB = 3 in combination with in-plane GRAPPA. In one case, two-spoke pulses were compared with one-spoke pulses, resulting as expected in improved homogeneity.


pTX SMS imaging at 7T can address contrast heterogeneity while allowing larger slice coverage in cardiac MRI performed under breath-hold. Magn Reson Med 77:1010–1020, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

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