Section: New Results

A projection algorithm for gradient waveforms design in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Collecting the maximal amount of information in a given scanning time is a major concern in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to speed up image acquisition. The hardware constraints (gradient magnitude, slew rate, ...), physical distortions (e.g., off-resonance effects) and sampling theorems (Shannon, compressed sensing) must be taken into account simultaneously, which makes this problem extremely challenging. To date, the main approach to design gradient waveform has consisted of selecting an initial shape (e.g. spiral, radial lines, ...) and then traversing it as fast as possible using optimal control. In this paper, we propose an alternative solution which first consists of defining a desired parameterization of the trajectory and then of optimizing for minimal deviation of the sampling points within gradient constraints. This method has various advantages. First, it better preserves the density of the input curve which is critical in sampling theory. Second, it allows to smooth high curvature areas making the acquisition time shorter in some cases. Third, it can be used both in the Shannon and CS sampling theories. Last, the optimized trajectory is computed as the solution of an efficient iterative algorithm based on convex programming. For piecewise linear trajectories, as compared to optimal control reparameterization, our approach generates a gain in scanning time of 10% in echo planar imaging while improving image quality in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by more than 6 dB. We also investigate original trajectories relying on traveling salesman problem solutions. In this context, the sampling patterns obtained using the proposed projection algorithm are shown to provide significantly better reconstructions (more than 6 dB) while lasting the same scanning time.

Figure 10. Reconstructed images from data collected along EPI-like trajectories. (a)-(b): Reconstruction results from the optimally reparameterized EPI readout. (c)-(d): Reconstructed results from data collected using the projected EPI trajectories. See [9] for more information.

See Fig. 10 for an illustration and [9] for more information.