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Increased Sensitivity and Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Diffusion-Weighted MRI using Multi-Echo Acquisitions

By Cornelius Eichner, Michael Paquette, Toralf Mildner, Torsten Schlumm, Kamilla Pléh, L. Samuni, Catherine Crockford, Roman Wittig, Carsten Jäger, Harald E. Möller, Angela D. Friederici, Alfred Anwander

Posted 04 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.04.962191 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117172)

Post-mortem diffusion MRI (dMRI) enables high SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) images with high spatial resolution - at the expense of longer scanning times. The typically used segmented image acquisition leads to an incomplete signal decay before continuing the MR coding. Especially in diffusion-weighted MRI, with low signal intensities and lengthy contrast encoding, such inefficiency translates into reduced image quality and longer scanning times. This study introduces Multi Echo (ME) acquisitions to dMRI - a time-efficient approach, which increases SNR and reduces noise bias for dMRI images. The benefit of the introduced ME dMRI method were validated using Monte Carlo simulations and applied on a post mortem wild chimpanzee brain. The proposed strategy comes at a small price in scanning time (here 30% additional) and leads to increased SNR (here 1.9x) and a general reduction of the noise bias.

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