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      Continuous ASL (CASL) perfusion MRI with an array coil and parallel imaging at 3T.

      Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

      Sensitivity and Specificity, Spin Labels, physiology, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Blood Flow Velocity, Equipment Design, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, instrumentation, methods, Male, Adult, Artifacts

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          The purpose of this work was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of using an array coil and parallel imaging in continuous arterial spin labeling (CASL) perfusion MRI. An 8-channel receive-only array head coil was used in conjunction with a surrounding detunable volume transmit coil. The signal to noise ratio (SNR), temporal stability, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and perfusion image coverage were measured from steady state CASL scans using: a standard volume coil, array coil, and array coil with 2- and 3-fold accelerated parallel imaging. Compared to the standard volume coil, the array coil provided 3 times the average SNR increase and higher temporal stability for the perfusion weighted images, even with threefold acceleration. Although perfusion images of the array coil were affected by the inhomogeneous coil sensitivities, this effect was invisible in the quantitative CBF images, which showed highly reproducible perfusion values compared to the standard volume coil. The unfolding distortions of parallel imaging were suppressed in the perfusion images by pairwise subtraction, though they sharply degraded the raw EPI images. Moreover, parallel imaging provided the potential of acquiring more slices due to the shortened acquisition time and improved coverage in brain regions with high static field inhomogeneity. Such results highlight the potential utility of array coils and parallel imaging in ASL perfusion MRI. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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