Edwin Versteeg, Kyung Min Nam, Dennis W. J. Klomp, Alex A. Bhogal, Jeroen C. W. Siero, Jannie P. Wijnen

A silent echo‐planar spectroscopic imaging readout with high spectral bandwidth MRSI using an ultrasonic gradient axis

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging

AbstractPurposeWe present a novel silent echo‐planar spectroscopic imaging (EPSI) readout, which uses an ultrasonic gradient insert to accelerate MRSI while producing a high spectral bandwidth (20 kHz) and a low sound level.MethodsThe ultrasonic gradient insert consisted of a single‐axis (z‐direction) plug‐and‐play gradient coil, powered by an audio amplifier, and produced 40 mT/m at 20 kHz. The silent EPSI readout was implemented in a phase‐encoded MRSI acquisition. Here, the additional spatial encoding provided by this silent EPSI readout was used to reduce the number of phase‐encoding steps. Spectroscopic acquisitions using phase‐encoded MRSI, a conventional EPSI‐readout, and the silent EPSI readout were performed on a phantom containing metabolites with resonance frequencies in the ppm range of brain metabolites (0–4 ppm). These acquisitions were used to determine sound levels, showcase the high spectral bandwidth of the silent EPSI readout, and determine the SNR efficiency and the scan efficiency.ResultsThe silent EPSI readout featured a 19‐dB lower sound level than a conventional EPSI readout while featuring a high spectral bandwidth of 20 kHz without spectral ghosting artifacts. Compared with phase‐encoded MRSI, the silent EPSI readout provided a 4.5‐fold reduction in scan time. In addition, the scan efficiency of the silent EPSI readout was higher (82.5% vs. 51.5%) than the conventional EPSI readout.ConclusionsWe have for the first time demonstrated a silent spectroscopic imaging readout with a high spectral bandwidth and low sound level. This sound reduction provided by the silent readout is expected to have applications in sound‐sensitive patient groups, whereas the high spectral bandwidth could benefit ultrahigh‐field MR systems.

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