Purpose: Parallel imaging generally entails a reduction in the signal-to-noise ratio of the final image. Phase-constrained methods aim to improve reconstruction quality by using symmetry properties of k-space. Noise amplification in phase-constrained reconstruction depends heavily on the object background phase. The purpose of this work is to present a new approach of using tailored radiofrequency pulses to optimize the object phase distribution in order to maximize the benefit of phase-constrained reconstruction, and to minimize the noise amplification. Methods: Intrinsic object phase and coil sensitivity profiles are measured in a prescan. Optimal phase distribution is computed to maximize signal-to-noise ratio in the given setup. Tailored radiofrequency pulses are designed to introduce the optimal phase map in the following accelerated acquisitions, subsequently reconstructed by phase-constrained methods. The potential of the method is demonstrated in vivo with in-plane accelerated (8x) and simultaneous multislice (3x) acquisitions. Results: Mean g-factors are reduced by up to a factor of 2 compared with conventional techniques when an appropriate phase-constrained reconstruction is applied to phase-optimized acquisitions, enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio of the final images and the visibility of small details. Conclusions: Combining phase-constrained reconstruction and phase optimization by tailored radiofrequency pulses can provide notable improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio and reconstruction quality of accelerated MRI. Magn Reson Med 79:2113–2125, 2018.
- RF pulses
- parallel MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging