Geometrically undistorted MRI in the presence of field inhomogeneities using compressed sensing accelerated broadband 3D phase encoded turbo spin-echo imaging

van Gorp, Sjoerd, Bakker, CJG, Bouwman, Job G., Smink, Jouke, Zijlstra, Frank, Seevinck, Peter R.


Physics in Medicine and Biology 60 (2), p. 615-631


In this study, we explore the potential of compressed sensing (CS) accelerated broadband 3D phase-encoded turbo spin-echo (3D-PE-TSE) for the purpose of geometrically undistorted imaging in the presence of field inhomogeneities. To achieve this goal 3D-PE-SE and 3D-PE-TSE sequences with broadband rf pulses and dedicated undersampling patterns were implemented on a clinical scanner. Additionally, a 3D multi-spectral spin-echo (ms3D-SE) sequence was implemented for reference purposes. First, we demonstrated the influence of susceptibility induced off-resonance effects on the spatial encoding of broadband 3D-SE, ms3D-SE, 3D-PE-SE and 3D-PE-TSE using a grid phantom containing a titanium implant (Delta chi= 182 ppm) with x-ray CT as a gold standard. These experiments showed that the spatial encoding of 3D-PE-(T) SE was unaffected by susceptibility induced off-resonance effects, which caused geometrical distortions and/or signal hyper-intensities in broadband 3D-SE and, to a lesser extent, in ms3D-SE frequency encoded methods. Additionally, an SNR analysis was performed and the temporally resolved signal of 3D-PE-(T) SE sequences was exploited to retrospectively decrease the acquisition bandwidth and obtain field offset maps. The feasibility of CS acceleration was studied retrospectively and prospectively for the 3D-PE-SE sequence using an existing CS algorithm adapted for the reconstruction of 3D data with undersampling in all three phase encoded dimensions. CS was combined with turbo-acceleration by variable density undersampling and spherical stepwise T-2 weighting by randomly sorting consecutive echoes in predefined spherical k-space layers. The CS-TSE combination resulted in an overall acceleration factor of 60, decreasing the original 3D-PE-SE scan time from 7 h to 7 min. Finally, CS accelerated 3D-PE-TSE in vivo images of a titanium screw were obtained within 10 min using a micro-coil demonstrating the feasibility of geometrically undistorted MRI near severe field inhomogeneities.