1Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan2Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research and Bernard and Irene Schwartz Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA3Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University School of Science, Espoo, Finland
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Purpose:The inhomogeneity of flip angle distribution is a major challenge impeding the application of high-field MRI. We report a method combining spatially selective excitation using generalized spatial encoding magnetic fields (SAGS) with radiofrequency (RF) shimming to achieve homogeneous excitation. This method can be an alternative approach to address the challenge of Symbol inhomogeneity using nonlinear gradients.Methods:We proposed a two-step algorithm that jointly optimizes the combination of nonlinear spatial encoding magnetic fields and the combination of multiple RF transmitter coils and then optimizes the locations, RF amplitudes, and phases of the spokes.Results:Our results show that jointly designed SAGS and RF shimming can provide a more homogeneous flip angle distribution than using SAGS or RF shimming alone. Compared with RF shimming alone, our approach can reduce the relative standard deviation of flip angle by 56% and 52% using phantom and human head data, respectively.Conclusion:The jointly designed SAGS and RF shimming method can be used to achieve homogeneous flip angle distributions when fully parallel RF transmission is not available.