Accelerated imaging with segmented 2D pulses using parallel imaging and virtual coils

Michael Mullen, Alexander Gutierrez, Naoharu Kobayashi, Jarvis Haupt, Michael Garwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Large magnetic field inhomogeneity can be a significant cause of spatial flip-angle variation when using ordinary, limited-bandwidth RF pulses. Multidimensional RF pulses are particularly sensitive to inhomogeneity due to their extended pulse length, which decreases their bandwidth. Previously, it was shown that, by breaking a 2D pulse into multiple undersampled k-space segments, the excitation bandwidth can be increased at the expense of increased imaging time. The present study shows how this increased imaging time can be offset by undersampling acquisition k-space in a phase-encoded dimension that is in the direction of excitation segmentation. Data from each segment are viewed as originating from “virtual receive coils” rather than multiple physical coils. The undersampled data are reconstructed using parallel imaging techniques (e.g. as in GRAPPA). The method was tested in vivo with brain imaging at both 3 T and 4 T, and used in conjunction with a 32-channel head coil and conventional GRAPPA on the 3 T data. Relationships with existing techniques and future applications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health grants U01 EB025153 , P41 EB015894 , and T32 EB008389 . The authors would like to thank Drs. Steen Moeller and Gregor Adriany for useful discussions and for technical assistance and the reviewers for valuable recommendations to improve the clarity of the work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 2D pulse
  • B inhomogeneity
  • Frequency-modulated
  • MRI
  • Parallel imaging
  • Segmented pulse
  • Virtual coil


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