Super-resolution T1 estimation: Quantitative high resolution T1 mapping from a set of low resolution T1-weighted images with different slice orientations

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Abstract

Purpose

Quantitative T1 mapping is a magnetic resonance imaging technique that estimates the spin-lattice relaxation time of tissues. Even though T1 mapping has a broad range of potential applications, it is not routinely used in clinical practice as accurate and precise high resolution T1 mapping requires infeasibly long acquisition times.

Method

To improve the trade-off between the acquisition time, signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution, we acquire a set of low resolution T1-weighted images and directly estimate a high resolution T1 map by means of super-resolution reconstruction.

Results

Simulation and in vivo experiments show an increased spatial resolution of the T1 map, while preserving a high signal-to-noise ratio and short scan time. Moreover, the proposed method outperforms conventional estimation in terms of root-mean-square error.

Conclusion

Super resolution T1 estimation enables resolution enhancement in T1 mapping with the use of standard (inversion recovery) T1 acquisition sequences. Magn Reson Med 77:1818–1830, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

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