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Magn Reson Med. 2001 Sep;46(3):548-54.

Improved diffusion-weighted single-shot echo-planar imaging (EPI) in stroke using sensitivity encoding (SENSE).

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Magnetic Resonance Institute, Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria.


Diffusion-weighted single-shot EPI (sshEPI) is one of the most important tools for the diagnostic assessment of stroke patients, but it suffers from well known artifacts. Therefore, sshEPI was combined with SENSitivity Encoding (SENSE) to further increase EPI's potential for stroke imaging. Eight healthy volunteers and a consecutive series of patients (N = 8) with suspected stroke were examined with diffusion-weighted SENSE-sshEPI using different reduction factors (1.0 < or = R < or = 3.0). Additionally, a high-resolution diffusion-weighted SENSE-sshEPI scan was included. All examinations were diagnostic and of better quality than conventional sshEPI. No ghostings or aliasing artifacts were discernible, and EPI-related image distortions were markedly diminished. Chemical shift artifacts and eddy current-induced image warping were still present, although to a markedly smaller extent. Measured direction-dependent diffusion-coefficients and isotropic diffusion values were comparable to previous findings but showed less fluctuation. We have demonstrated the technical feasibility and clinical applicability of diffusion-weighted SENSE-sshEPI in patients with subacute stroke. Because of the faster k-space traversal, this novel technique is able to reduce typical EPI artifacts and increase spatial resolution while simultaneously remaining insensitive to bulk motion.

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