Mitigation of B+1 inhomogeneity using spatially selective excitation with jointly designed quadratic spatial encoding magnetic fields and RF shimming

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Abstract

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 B+1 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. Magn Reson Med, 2016. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

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