Dimitrios C. Karampinos1, Suchandrima Banerjee2, Kevin F. King3, Roland Krug1, Thomas M. Link1, Sharmila Majumdar1
1Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States; 2Global Applied Science Laboratory, GE Healthcare, Menlo Park, CA, United States; 3Global Applied Science Laboratory, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI, United States
Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of spinal muscles is challenging due to the large susceptibility-induced geometric distortions and the significant fat-induced chemical shift artifacts in single-shot EPI scans without parallel imaging. Reduced FOV imaging is an alternative approach to parallel imaging for reducing distortions as well as for excluding artifact prone regions of the FOV. In the present work, a stimulated echo prepared DW-EPI sequence enabling interleaved multi-slice inner volume imaging is developed. The proposed technique benefits from the reduced distortions of reduced-FOV DWI and the SNR advantages of stimulated echo preparation. The sequence trade-offs are characterized and in vivo results are shown in DWI of lumbar spine muscles.