3D T 2-weighted imaging at 7T using dynamic kT-points on single-transmit MRI systems
OBJECTIVES: For turbo spin echo (TSE) sequences to be useful at ultra-high field, they should ideally employ an RF pulse train compensated for the B 1 + inhomogeneity. Previously, it was shown that a single kT-point pulse designed in the small tip-angle regime can replace all the pulses of the sequence (static kT-points). This work demonstrates that the B 1 + dependence of T 2-weighted imaging can be further mitigated by designing a specific kT-point pulse for each pulse of a 3D TSE sequence (dynamic kT-points) even on single-channel transmit systems MATERIALS AND METHODS: By combining the spatially resolved extended phase graph formalism (which calculates the echo signals throughout the sequence) with a gradient descent algorithm, dynamic kT-points were optimized such that the difference between the simulated signal and a target was minimized at each echo. Dynamic kT-points were inserted into the TSE sequence to acquire in vivo images at 7T. RESULTS: The improvement provided by the dynamic kT-points over the static kT-point design and conventional hard pulses was demonstrated via simulations. Images acquired with dynamic kT-points showed systematic improvement of signal and contrast at 7T over regular TSE-especially in cerebellar and temporal lobe regions without the need of parallel transmission. CONCLUSION: Designing dynamic kT-points for a 3D TSE sequence allows the acquisition of T 2-weighted brain images on a single-transmit system at ultra-high field with reduced dropout and only mild residual effects due to the B 1 + inhomogeneity.