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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2005 Jun;21(6):657-68.

Spiral imaging: a critical appraisal.

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  • 1Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany.


In view of recent applications in cardiovascular and functional brain imaging, this work revisits the basic performance characteristics of spiral imaging in direct comparison to echo-planar imaging (EPI) and conventional rapid gradient-echo imaging. Using both computer simulations and experiments on phantoms and human subjects at 2.9 T, the study emphasizes single-shot applications and addresses the design of a suitable trajectory, the choice of a gridding algorithm, and the sensitivity to experimental inadequacies. As a general result, the combination of a spiral trajectory with regridding of the k-space data poses no principle obstacle for high-quality imaging. On the other hand, experimental difficulties such as gradient deviations, resonance offset contributions, and concomitant field effects cause more pronounced and even less acceptable image artifacts than usually obtained for EPI. Moreover, when ignoring parallel imaging strategies that are also applicable to EPI, improvements of image quality via reduced acquisition periods are only achievable by interleaved multishot spirals because partial Fourier sampling and rectangular fields of view (FOVs) cannot be exploited for non-Cartesian trajectories. Taken together, while spiral imaging may find its niche applications, most high-speed imaging needs are more easily served by EPI.

Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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