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Abstract #1338

Flip-angle optimization for the diffusion-weighted SPLICE sequence for applications in brain imaging

Sofie Rahbek1, Tim Schakel2, Faisal Mahmood3,4, Kristoffer H. Madsen5,6, Marielle E.P. Philippens2, and Lars G. Hanson1,5
1Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark, 2Department of Radiotherapy, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, 3Laboratory of Radiation Physics, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark, 4Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, 5Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and Research, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark, 6Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

The RARE-based diffusion-weighted MRI sequence, SPLICE, provides diffusion-weighted images free of geometric distortions. However, the image quality in terms of spatial resolution and SNR needs to be improved. We suggest a framework based on optimization of the flip-angles in the refocusing pulse train to improve the SNR for a chosen spatial point-spread-function. Simulations based on EPG calculations indicate superiority of the optimized flip-angle scheme and experimental recordings on a 1.5 T scanner demonstrate the improvements in a practical setting.

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