Field Inhomogeneity Correction for Gradient Echo Myelin Water Fraction Imaging

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Abstract

Purpose:

Recently, the multi-echo gradient echo (MGRE) sequence has been proposed for multicomponent Symbol (MC Symbol) based myelin water fraction (MWF) mapping. This approach has appeal because it can provide fast whole-brain coverage, has low specific absorption rate, and short echo spacing. However, the MGRE signal requires correction for accurate MWF mapping, because of its sensitivity to magnetic field inhomogeneities (ΔB0). We propose a ΔB0 correction method for 2D MGRE data obtained for MWF mapping.

Theory and Methods:

Latter-echo MGRE data were fit to estimate B0 gradients in the slice-select direction (Symbol). The decay signal was corrected for the effects of Symbol, and MC Symbol analysis was performed using nonnegative least-squares fitting. The method was evaluated using simulations and its performance demonstrated in healthy volunteers.

Results:

Simulations showed that MWFs are significantly biased in the presence of Symbol and that our correction method leads to accurate MWF estimates. In vivo MWF maps obtained from corrected data showed recovery of MWF estimates in areas of high ΔB0, and overall good agreement with literature values obtained with the reference MC Symbol-based method.

Conclusion:

A new algorithm was presented for ΔB0 correction of 2D MGRE echo data acquired for MWF imaging. Simulations and in vivo data showed an improvement in MWF estimates.

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