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NMR Biomed. 2013 Nov;26(11):1471-83. doi: 10.1002/nbm.2978. Epub 2013 Jul 5.

Multiple-echo diffusion tensor acquisition technique (MEDITATE) on a 3T clinical scanner.

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Bernard and Irene Schwartz Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.


This article describes the concepts and implementation of an MRI method, the multiple-echo diffusion tensor acquisition technique (MEDITATE), which is capable of acquiring apparent diffusion tensor maps in two scans on a 3T clinical scanner. In each MEDITATE scan, a set of RF pulses generates multiple echoes, the amplitudes of which are diffusion weighted in both magnitude and direction by a pattern of diffusion gradients. As a result, two scans acquired with different diffusion weighting strengths suffice for accurate estimation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters. The MEDITATE variation presented here expands previous MEDITATE approaches to adapt to the clinical scanner platform, such as exploiting longitudinal magnetization storage to reduce T2 weighting. Fully segmented multi-shot Cartesian encoding is used for image encoding. MEDITATE was tested on isotropic (agar gel), anisotropic diffusion phantoms (asparagus) and in vivo skeletal muscle in healthy volunteers with cardiac gating. Comparisons of accuracy were performed with standard twice-refocused spin echo (TRSE) DTI in each case and good quantitative agreement was found between diffusion eigenvalues, mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy derived from TRSE DTI and from the MEDITATE sequence. Orientation patterns were correctly reproduced in both isotropic and anisotropic phantoms, and approximately for in vivo imaging. This illustrates that the MEDITATE method of compressed diffusion encoding is feasible on the clinical scanner platform. With future development and employment of appropriate view-sharing image encoding, this technique may be used in clinical applications requiring time-sensitive acquisition of DTI parameters such as dynamical DTI in muscle.


DTI; diffusion; multiple-modulation multiple echo

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