Accelerated whole-brain perfusion imaging using a simultaneous multislice spin-echo and gradient-echo sequence with joint virtual coil reconstruction

Magn Reson Med. 2019 Sep;82(3):973-983. doi: 10.1002/mrm.27784. Epub 2019 May 8.


Purpose: Dynamic susceptibility contrast imaging requires high temporal sampling, which poses limits on achievable spatial coverage and resolution. Additionally, more encoding-intensive multi-echo acquisitions for quantitative imaging are desired to mitigate contrast leakage effects, which further limits spatial encoding. We present an accelerated sequence that provides whole-brain coverage at an improved spatio-temporal resolution, to allow for dynamic quantitative R2 and R2 * mapping during contrast-enhanced imaging.

Methods: A multi-echo spin and gradient-echo sequence was implemented with simultaneous multislice acquisition. Complementary k-space sampling between repetitions and joint virtual coil reconstruction were used along with a dynamic phase-matching technique to achieve high-quality reconstruction at 9-fold acceleration, which enabled 2 × 2 × 5 mm whole-brain imaging at TR of 1.5 to 1.7 seconds. The multi-echo images from this sequence were fit to achieve quantitative R2 and R2 * maps for each repetition, and subsequently used to find perfusion measures including cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood volume.

Results: Images reconstructed using joint virtual coil show improved image quality and g-factor compared with conventional reconstruction methods, resulting in improved quantitative maps with a 9-fold acceleration factor and whole-brain coverage during the dynamic perfusion acquisition.

Conclusion: The method presented shows the advantage of using a joint virtual coil-GRAPPA reconstruction to allow for high acceleration factors while maintaining reliable image quality for quantitative perfusion mapping, with the potential to improve tumor diagnostics and monitoring.

Keywords: dynamic susceptibility contrast; joint reconstruction; parallel imaging; perfusion; simultaneous multislice; virtual coil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Perfusion Imaging / methods*