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Magn Reson Med. 2016 Jan;75(1):63-81. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25897. Epub 2015 Aug 26.

Simultaneous multislice (SMS) imaging techniques.

Author information

Centre for Advanced Imaging, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Radboud University Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Research Center Magnetic Resonance Bavaria (MRB), Würzburg, Germany.
FMRIB Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe Zollverein, Leitstand Kokerei Zollverein, Essen, Germany.
MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Simultaneous multislice imaging (SMS) using parallel image reconstruction has rapidly advanced to become a major imaging technique. The primary benefit is an acceleration in data acquisition that is equal to the number of simultaneously excited slices. Unlike in-plane parallel imaging this can have only a marginal intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio penalty, and the full acceleration is attainable at fixed echo time, as is required for many echo planar imaging applications. Furthermore, for some implementations SMS techniques can reduce radiofrequency (RF) power deposition. In this review the current state of the art of SMS imaging is presented. In the Introduction, a historical overview is given of the history of SMS excitation in MRI. The following section on RF pulses gives both the theoretical background and practical application. The section on encoding and reconstruction shows how the collapsed multislice images can be disentangled by means of the transmitter pulse phase, gradient pulses, and most importantly using multichannel receiver coils. The relationship between classic parallel imaging techniques and SMS reconstruction methods is explored. The subsequent section describes the practical implementation, including the acquisition of reference data, and slice cross-talk. Published applications of SMS imaging are then reviewed, and the article concludes with an outlook and perspective of SMS imaging.


fast imaging; multiband imaging; simultaneous multislice imaging

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