Several theoretical parallel-imaging approaches are evaluated that seek to improve the efficiency of an MRI experiment involving multiple small samples, such as mice. The best method for our mouse phenotyping application is chosen in terms of efficiency and ease of implementation, and the approach is demonstrated at 1.5 T on a clinical scanner with an array of four shielded birdcage coils with four parallel receivers. Electronic interactions between the receiver channels in the system are quantified and a novel sensitivity-encoding (SENSE)-like postprocessing method is described to remove the resulting image ghosts. In parallel imaging with a four-coil array, the time required for three-dimensional (3D) high-resolution imaging of four mice is reduced to one-fourth the time that it would take to image the mice sequentially.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.