Safiullin, K., C. Talbot, and P.J. Nacher, Achieving high spatial resolution and high SNR in low-field MRI of hyperpolarised gases with Slow Low Angle SHot. J Magn Reson, 2013. 227(0): p. 72-86
MRI of hyperpolarised gases is usually performed with fast data acquisition to achieve high spatial resolutions despite rapid diffusion-induced signal attenuation. We describe a double-cross k-space sampling scheme suitable for Slow Low Angle SHot (SLASH) acquisition and yielding an increased SNR. It consists of a series of anisotropic partial acquisitions with a reduced resolution in the read direction, which alleviates signal attenuation and still provides a high isotropic resolution. The advantages of SLASH imaging over conventional FLASH imaging are evaluated analytically, using numerical lattice calculations, and experimentally in phantom cells filled with hyperpolarised (3)He-N(2) gas mixtures. Low-field MRI is performed (here 2.7mT), a necessary condition to obtain long T(2)( *) values in lungs for slow acquisition. Two additional benefits of the SLASH scheme over FLASH imaging have been demonstrated: it is less sensitive to the artefacts due to concomitant gradients and it allows measuring apparent diffusion coefficients for an extended range of times.