BUDA-MESMERISE: Rapid acquisition and unsupervised parameter estimation for T1 , T2 , M0 , B0 , and B1 maps

Magn Reson Med. 2022 Jul;88(1):292-308. doi: 10.1002/mrm.29228. Epub 2022 Mar 28.


Purpose: Rapid acquisition scheme and parameter estimation method are proposed to acquire distortion-free spin- and stimulated-echo signals and combine the signals with a physics-driven unsupervised network to estimate T1 , T2 , and proton density (M0 ) parameter maps, along with B0 and B1 information from the acquired signals.

Theory and methods: An imaging sequence with three 90° RF pulses is utilized to acquire spin- and stimulated-echo signals. We utilize blip-up/-down acquisition to eliminate geometric distortion incurred by the effects of B0 inhomogeneity on rapid EPI acquisitions. For multislice imaging, echo-shifting is applied to utilize dead time between the second and third RF pulses to encode information from additional slice positions. To estimate parameter maps from the spin- and stimulated-echo signals with high fidelity, 2 estimation methods, analytic fitting and a novel unsupervised deep neural network method, are developed.

Results: The proposed acquisition provided distortion-free T1 , T2 , relative proton density (M0), B0 , and B1 maps with high fidelity both in phantom and in vivo brain experiments. From the rapidly acquired spin- and stimulated-echo signals, analytic fitting and the network-based method were able to estimate T1 , T2 , M0 , B0 , and B1 maps with high accuracy. Network estimates demonstrated noise robustness owing to the fact that the convolutional layers take information into account from spatially adjacent voxels.

Conclusion: The proposed acquisition/reconstruction technique enabled whole-brain acquisition of coregistered, distortion-free, T1 , T2 , M0 , B0 , and B1 maps at 1 × 1 × 5 mm3 resolution in 50 s. The proposed unsupervised neural network provided noise-robust parameter estimates from this rapid acquisition.

Keywords: distortion correction; multicontrast MRI; quantitative MRI; stimulated echo; unsupervised parameter estimation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Echo-Planar Imaging* / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Protons*


  • Protons