Diffusion-weighted 3D multislab echo planar imaging for high signal-to-noise ratio efficiency and isotropic image resolution

Magn Reson Med. 2013 Dec;70(6):1507-14. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24594. Epub 2013 Jan 28.


Purpose: To acquire isotropic high-resolution, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficient, 3D encoded diffusion-weighted MRI data.

Methods: Multiple Fourier encoded slabs were combined into one full volume, using a generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisitions (GRAPPA) accelerated diffusion-weighted 3D multislab echo planar imaging (EPI) sequence with 2D phase navigation and in-plane motion correction.

Results: Reconstructed data with 1.5-mm(3) nominal resolution is presented and shown under the influence of motion and with variable slab thicknesses. The SNR efficiency between diffusion-weighted 3D multislab EPI and DW 2D ss-EPI is compared. Finally, a 1.3-mm(3) full brain scan with 45 diffusion directions is presented.

Conclusions: Diffusion-weighted 3D multislab EPI has been presented as an alternative sequence for high-resolution and high-SNR full brain coverage diffusion studies. Compared with the gold standard 2D diffusion-weighted single-shot Echo Planar Imaging, the SNR efficiency is significantly higher.

Keywords: 2D navigator; 3D; MRI; diffusion; phase-correction.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anisotropy
  • Artifacts*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio