A simple but general solution of Navier's equation for axisymmetric shear wave propagation in a homogeneous isotropic viscoelastic medium is presented. It is well-suited for use as a forward model for some acoustic radiation force impulse based shear wave elastography applications because it does not require precise knowledge of the strength of the source, nor its spatial or temporal distribution. Instead, it depends on two assumptions: (1) the source distribution is axisymmetric and confined to a small region near the axis of symmetry, and (2) the propagation medium is isotropic and homogeneous. The model accounts for the vector polarization of shear waves and exactly represents geometric spreading of the shear wavefield, whether spherical, cylindrical, or neither. It makes no assumption about the frequency dependence of material parameters, i.e., it is material-model independent. Validation using measured shear wavefields excited by acoustic radiation force in a homogeneous gelatin sample show that the model accounts for well over 90% of the measured wavefield "energy." An optimal fit of the model to simulated shear wavefields with noise in a homogeneous viscoelastic medium enables estimation of both the shear storage modulus and shear wave attenuation to within 1%.
The main risks associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been extensively reported and studied; for example, everyday objects may turn into projectiles, energy deposition can cause burns, varying fields can induce nerve stimulation, and loud noises can lead to auditory loss. The present review article is geared toward providing intuition about the physical mechanisms that give rise to these risks. On the one hand, excellent literature already exists on the practical aspect of risk management, with clinical workflow and recommendations. On the other hand, excellent technical articles also exist that explain these risks from basic principles of electromagnetism. We felt that an underserved niche might be found between the two, ie, somewhere between basic science and practical advice, to help develop intuition about electromagnetism that might prove of practical value when working around MR scanners. Following a wide-ranging introduction, risks originating from the main magnetic field, the excitation RF electromagnetic field, and switching of the imaging gradients will be presented in turn.
PURPOSE: To combine MRI, ultrasound, and computer science methodologies toward generating MRI contrast at the high frame rates of ultrasound, inside and even outside the MRI bore. METHODS: A small transducer, held onto the abdomen with an adhesive bandage, collected ultrasound signals during MRI. Based on these ultrasound signals and their correlations with MRI, a machine-learning algorithm created synthetic MR images at frame rates up to 100 per second. In one particular implementation, volunteers were taken out of the MRI bore with the ultrasound sensor still in place, and MR images were generated on the basis of ultrasound signal and learned correlations alone in a "scannerless" manner. RESULTS: Hybrid ultrasound-MRI data were acquired in eight separate imaging sessions. Locations of liver features, in synthetic images, were compared with those from acquired images: The mean error was 1.0 pixel (2.1 mm), with best case 0.4 and worst case 4.1 pixels (in the presence of heavy coughing). For results from outside the bore, qualitative validation involved optically tracked ultrasound imaging with/without coughing. CONCLUSION: The proposed setup can generate an accurate stream of high-speed MR images, up to 100 frames per second, inside or even outside the MR bore. Magn Reson Med, 2016. (c) 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
PURPOSE: To present a dual-pathway multi-echo steady state sequence and reconstruction algorithm to capture T2, T2( *) and field map information. METHODS: Typically, pulse sequences based on spin echoes are needed for T2 mapping while gradient echoes are needed for field mapping, making it difficult to jointly acquire both types of information. A dual-pathway multi-echo pulse sequence is employed here to generate T2 and field maps from the same acquired data. The approach might be used, for example, to obtain both thermometry and tissue damage information during thermal therapies, or susceptibility and T2 information from a same head scan, or to generate bonus T2 maps during a knee scan. RESULTS: Quantitative T2, T2( *) and field maps were generated in gel phantoms, ex vivo bovine muscle, and twelve volunteers. T2 results were validated against a spin-echo reference standard: A linear regression based on ROI analysis in phantoms provided close agreement (slope/R(2)=0.99/0.998). A pixel-wise in vivo Bland-Altman analysis of R2=1/T2 showed a bias of 0.034 Hz (about 0.3%), as averaged over four volunteers. Ex vivo results, with and without motion, suggested that tissue damage detection based on T2 rather than temperature-dose measurements might prove more robust to motion. CONCLUSION: T2, T2( *) and field maps were obtained simultaneously, from the same datasets, in thermometry, susceptibility-weighted imaging and knee-imaging contexts.
OBJECTIVE: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a widely used imaging modality for studies of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Compared to radiography, MRI offers exceptional soft tissue imaging and true three-dimensional (3D) visualization. However, MRI is expensive both due to the cost of acquisition and evaluation of the images. The goal of our study is to develop a new method to address the cost of MRI by combining innovative acquisition methods and automated post-processing software. METHODS: Ten healthy volunteers were scanned with three different MRI protocols: A standard 3D dual-echo steady state (DESS) pulse sequence, an accelerated DESS (DESSAcc), acquired at approximately half the time compared to DESS, and a multi-echo time DESS (DESSMTE), which is capable of producing measurements of T2 relaxation time. A software tool was used to measure cartilage volume. Accuracy was quantified by comparing DESS to DESSAcc and DESSMTE and precision was measured using repeat readings and acquisitions. T2 precision was determined using duplicate DESSMTE acquisitions. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs), root-mean square standard deviation (RMSSD), and the coefficient of variation (CoV) were used to quantify accuracy and precision. RESULTS: The accuracies of DESSAcc and DESSMTE were CoV = 3.7% and CoV = 6.6% respectively, while precision was 3.8%, 3.0%, and 3.1% for DESS, DESSAcc and DESSMTE. T2 repositioning precision was 5.8%. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that accurate and precise quantification of cartilage volume is possible using a combination of substantially faster MRI acquisition and post-processing software. Precise measurements of cartilage T2 and volume can be made using the same acquisition.
PURPOSE: To describe how B0 inhomogeneities can cause errors in proton resonance frequency (PRF) shift thermometry, and to correct for these errors. METHODS: With PRF thermometry, measured phase shifts are converted into temperature measurements through the use of a scaling factor proportional to the echo time, TE. However, B0 inhomogeneities can deform, spread, and translate MR echoes, potentially making the "true" echo time vary spatially within the imaged object and take on values that differ from the prescribed TE value. Acquisition and reconstruction methods able to avoid or correct for such errors are presented. RESULTS: Tests were performed in a gel phantom during sonication, and temperature measurements were made with proper shimming as well as with intentionally introduced B0 inhomogeneities. Errors caused by B0 inhomogeneities were observed, described, and corrected by the proposed methods. No statistical difference was found between the corrected results and the reference results obtained with proper shimming, while errors by more than 10% in temperature elevation were corrected for. The approach was also applied to an abdominal in vivo dataset. CONCLUSION: Field variations induce errors in measured field values, which can be detected and corrected. The approach was validated for a PRF thermometry application.
Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging provides excellent image quality at a high cost and low frame rate. Ultrasound (US) provides poor image quality at a low cost and high frame rate. We propose an instance-based learning system to obtain the best of both worlds: high quality MR images at high frame rates from a low cost single-element US sensor. Concurrent US and MRI pairs are acquired during a relatively brief offine learning phase involving the US transducer and MR scanner. High frame rate, high quality MR imaging of respiratory organ motion is then predicted from US measurements, even after stopping MRI acquisition, using a probabilistic kernel regression framework. Experimental results show predicted MR images to be highly representative of actual MR images.
PURPOSE: To reduce image distortion in MR diffusion imaging using an accelerated multi-shot method. METHODS: The proposed method exploits the fact that diffusion-encoded data tend to be sparse when represented in the kb-kd space, where kb and kd are the Fourier transform duals of b and d, the b-factor and the diffusion direction, respectively. Aliasing artifacts are displaced toward under-used regions of the kb-kd plane, allowing nonaliased signals to be recovered. A main characteristic of the proposed approach is how thoroughly the navigator information gets used during reconstruction: The phase of navigator images is used for motion correction, while the magnitude of the navigator signal in kb-kd space is used for regularization purposes. As opposed to most acceleration methods based on compressed sensing, the proposed method reduces the number of ky lines needed for each diffusion-encoded image, but not the total number of images required. Consequently, it tends to be most effective at reducing image distortion rather than reducing total scan time. RESULTS: Results are presented for three volunteers with acceleration factors ranging from 4 to 8, with and without the inclusion of parallel imaging. CONCLUSION: An accelerated motion-corrected diffusion imaging method was introduced that achieves good image quality at relatively high acceleration factors.
The purpose of this work was to evaluate a previously proposed approach that aims to improve the point spread function (PSF) of MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to avoid corruption by lipid signal arising from neighboring voxels. Retrospective spatial filtering can be used to alter the PSF; however, this either reduces spatial resolution or requires extending the acquisition in k-space at the cost of increased imaging time. Alternatively, the method evaluated here, PSF-choice, can modify the PSF localization to reduce the contamination from adjacent lipids by conforming the signal response more closely to the desired MRSI voxel grid. This is done without increasing scan time or degrading SNR of important metabolites. PSF-choice achieves improvements in spatial localization through modifications to the radiofrequency excitation pulses. An implementation of this method is reported for MRSI of the prostate, where it is demonstrated that, in 13 of 16 pilot prostate MRSI scans, intravoxel spectral contamination from lipid was significantly reduced when using PSF-choice. Phantom studies were also performed that demonstrate, compared with MRSI with standard Fourier phase encoding, out-of-voxel signal contamination of spectra was significantly reduced in MRSI with PSF-choice.
A new algorithm is proposed for reconstructing raw RF data into ultrasound images. Previous delay-and-sum beamforming reconstruction algorithms are essentially one-dimensional, because a sum is performed across all receiving elements. In contrast, the present approach is two-dimensional, potentially allowing any time point from any receiving element to contribute to any pixel location. Computer-intensive matrix inversions are performed once, in advance, to create a reconstruction matrix that can be reused indefinitely for a given probe and imaging geometry. Individual images are generated through a single matrix multiplication with the raw RF data, without any need for separate envelope detection or gridding steps. Raw RF data sets were acquired using a commercially available digital ultrasound engine for three imaging geometries: a 64-element array with a rectangular field-of- view (FOV), the same probe with a sector-shaped FOV, and a 128-element array with rectangular FOV. The acquired data were reconstructed using our proposed method and a delay- and-sum beamforming algorithm for comparison purposes. Point spread function (PSF) measurements from metal wires in a water bath showed that the proposed method was able to reduce the size of the PSF and its spatial integral by about 20 to 38%. Images from a commercially available quality-assurance phantom had greater spatial resolution and contrast when reconstructed with the proposed approach.
The capability to image temperature is a very attractive feature of MRI and has been actively exploited for guiding minimally-invasive thermal therapies. Among many MR-based temperature-sensitive approaches, proton resonance frequency (PRF) thermometry provides the advantage of excellent linearity of signal with temperature over a large temperature range. Furthermore, the PRF shift has been shown to be fairly independent of tissue type and thermal history. For these reasons, PRF method has evolved into the most widely used MR-based thermometry method. In the present paper, the basic principles of PRF-based temperature mapping will be reviewed, along with associated pulse sequence designs. Technical advancements aimed at increasing the imaging speed and/or temperature accuracy of PRF-based thermometry sequences, such as image acceleration, fat suppression, reduced field-of-view imaging, as well as motion tracking and correction, will be discussed. The development of accurate MR thermometry methods applicable to moving organs with non-negligible fat content represents a very challenging goal, but recent developments suggest that this goal may be achieved. If so, MR-guided thermal therapies may be expected to play an increasingly-important therapeutic and palliative role, as a minimally-invasive alternative to surgery.
MR thermometry can be a very challenging application, as good resolution may be needed along spatial, temporal, and temperature axes. Given that the heated foci produced during thermal therapies are typically much smaller than the anatomy being imaged, much of the imaged field-of-view is not actually being heated and may not require temperature monitoring. In this work, many-fold improvements were obtained in terms of temporal resolution and/or 3D spatial coverage by sacrificing some of the in-plane spatial coverage. To do so, three fast-imaging approaches were jointly implemented with a spoiled gradient echo sequence: (1) two-dimensional spatially selective RF excitation, (2) unaliasing by Fourier encoding the overlaps using the temporal dimension (UNFOLD), and (3) parallel imaging. The sequence was tested during experiments with focused ultrasound heating in ex vivo tissue and a tissue-mimicking phantom. Temperature maps were estimated from phase-difference images based on the water proton resonance frequency shift. Results were compared to those obtained from a spoiled gradient echo sequence sequence, using a t-test. Temporal resolution was increased by 24-fold, with temperature uncertainty less than 1°C, while maintaining accurate temperature measurements (mean difference between measurements, as observed in gel = 0.1°C ± 0.6; R = 0.98; P \textgreater 0.05).
The purpose of this study is to develop a fast and accurate temperature mapping method capable of both fat suppression and reduced field-of-view (rFOV) imaging, using a two-dimensional spatially-selective RF (2DRF) pulse. Temperature measurement errors caused by fat signals were assessed, through simulations. An 11x1140mus echo-planar 2DRF pulse was developed and incorporated into a gradient-echo sequence. Temperature measurements were obtained during focused ultrasound (FUS) heating of a fat-water phantom. Experiments both with and without the use of a 2DRF pulse were performed at 3T, and the accuracy of the resulting temperature measurements were compared over a range of TE values. Significant inconsistencies in terms of measured temperature values were observed when using a regular slice-selective RF excitation pulse. In contrast, the proposed 2DRF excitation pulse suppressed fat signals by more than 90%, allowing good temperature consistency regardless of TE settings. Temporal resolution was also improved, from 12 frames per minute (fpm) with the regular pulse to 28 frames per minute with the rFOV excitation. This technique appears promising toward the MR monitoring of temperature in moving adipose organs, during thermal therapies.