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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Oct;66(4):976-88. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22879. Epub 2011 May 23.

B0 mapping with multi-channel RF coils at high field.

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  • 1Functional NeuroImaging Laboratory, Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMEC), University of Trento, Mattarello, Italy.


Mapping the static magnetic field via the phase evolution over gradient echo scans acquired at two or more echo times is an established method. A number of possibilities exist, however, for combining phase data from multi-channel coils, denoising and thresholding field maps for high field applications. Three methods for combining phase images when no body/volume coil is available are tested: (i) Hermitian product, (ii) phase-matching over channels, and (iii) a new approach based on calculating separate field maps for each channel. The separate channel method is shown to yield field maps with higher signal-to-noise ratio than the Hermitian product and phase-matching methods and fewer unwrapping errors at low signal-to-noise ratio. Separate channel combination also allows unreliable voxels to be identified via the standard deviation over channels, which is found to be the most effective means of denoising field maps. Tests were performed using multichannel coils with between 8 and 32 channels at 3 T, 4 T, and 7 T. For application in the correction of distortions in echo-planar images, a formulation is proposed for reducing the local gradient of field maps to eliminate signal pile-up or swapping artifacts. Field maps calculated using these techniques, implemented in a freely available MATLAB toolbox, provide the basis for an effective correction for echo-planar imaging distortions at high fields.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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