The ensemble average propagator (EAP) describes the 3D average diffusion process of water molecules, capturing both its radial and angular contents. The EAP can thus provide richer information about complex tissue microstructure properties than the orientation distribution function (ODF), an angular feature of the EAP. Recently, several analytical EAP reconstruction schemes for multiple q-shell acquisitions have been proposed, such as diffusion propagator imaging (DPI) and spherical polar Fourier imaging (SPFI). In this study, a new analytical EAP reconstruction method is proposed, called Bessel Fourier Orientation Reconstruction (BFOR), whose solution is based on heat equation estimation of the diffusion signal for each shell acquisition, and is validated on both synthetic and real datasets. A significant portion of the paper is dedicated to comparing BFOR, SPFI, and DPI using hybrid, non-Cartesian sampling for multiple b-value acquisitions. Ways to mitigate the effects of Gibbs ringing on EAP reconstruction are also explored. In addition to analytical EAP reconstruction, the aforementioned modeling bases can be used to obtain rotationally invariant q-space indices of potential clinical value, an avenue which has not yet been thoroughly explored. Three such measures are computed: zero-displacement probability (Po), mean squared displacement (MSD), and generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA).
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