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A silent echo-planar spectroscopic imaging readout with high spectral bandwidth MRSI using an ultrasonic gradient axis

Publication year 2024
Published in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Authors Edwin Versteeg, Kyung Min Nam, Dennis W J Klomp, Alex A Bhogal, Jeroen C W Siero, Jannie P Wijnen

PURPOSE: We present a novel silent echo-planar spectroscopic imaging (EPSI) readout, which uses an ultrasonic gradient insert to accelerate MRSI while producing a high spectral bandwidth (20 kHz) and a low sound level.

METHODS: The ultrasonic gradient insert consisted of a single-axis (z-direction) plug-and-play gradient coil, powered by an audio amplifier, and produced 40 mT/m at 20 kHz. The silent EPSI readout was implemented in a phase-encoded MRSI acquisition. Here, the additional spatial encoding provided by this silent EPSI readout was used to reduce the number of phase-encoding steps. Spectroscopic acquisitions using phase-encoded MRSI, a conventional EPSI-readout, and the silent EPSI readout were performed on a phantom containing metabolites with resonance frequencies in the ppm range of brain metabolites (0-4 ppm). These acquisitions were used to determine sound levels, showcase the high spectral bandwidth of the silent EPSI readout, and determine the SNR efficiency and the scan efficiency.

RESULTS: The silent EPSI readout featured a 19-dB lower sound level than a conventional EPSI readout while featuring a high spectral bandwidth of 20 kHz without spectral ghosting artifacts. Compared with phase-encoded MRSI, the silent EPSI readout provided a 4.5-fold reduction in scan time. In addition, the scan efficiency of the silent EPSI readout was higher (82.5% vs. 51.5%) than the conventional EPSI readout.

CONCLUSIONS: We have for the first time demonstrated a silent spectroscopic imaging readout with a high spectral bandwidth and low sound level. This sound reduction provided by the silent readout is expected to have applications in sound-sensitive patient groups, whereas the high spectral bandwidth could benefit ultrahigh-field MR systems.

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