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J Clin Imaging Sci. 2012;2:31. doi: 10.4103/2156-7514.96548. Epub 2012 May 23.

Echo planar diffusion-weighted imaging: possibilities and considerations with 12- and 32-channel head coils.

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Scott and White Hospital/Texas A&M HSC, USA.


Interest in clinical brain magnetic resonance imaging using 32-channel head coils for signal reception continues to increase. The present investigation assesses possibilities for improving diffusion-weighted image quality using a 32-channel in comparison to a conventional 12-channel coil. The utility of single-shot (ss) and an approach to readout-segmented (rs) echo planar imaging (EPI) are examined using both head coils. Substantial image quality improvements are found with rs-EPI. Imaging with a 32-channel head coil allows for implementation of greater parallel imaging acceleration factors or acquisition of scans at a higher resolution. Specifically, higher resolution imaging with rs-EPI can be achieved by increasing the number of readout segments without increasing echo-spacing or echo time to the degree necessary with ss-EPI - a factor resulting in increased susceptibility artifact and reduced signal-to-noise with the latter.


3 Tesla MRI; diffusion-weighted imaging; echo planar imaging

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