In another move to accelerate the development of methods for neuroimaging applications, some colleagues and I recently decided to abandon a second attempt to publish a paper in traditional journals and opted for the immediacy of arXiv instead. (Damn, it feels good to be free of reviewers claiming "What problem? I don't see why a solution is even needed?" Whatever.) We've got another paper coming out on arXiv in a few days, too, although in this case we are exploring the possibility of a simultaneous submission to IEEE Trans Med Physics since it allows such tactics, and my colleagues in "real" physics do this all the time. Whether or not the IEEE submission happens the material will be out there in the world, naked, for all to view and poke at. Isn't this how science is supposed to work? I love it!
Anyway, for today, here's the skinny on the arXiv submission from August (which I inadvertently forgot to hawk on this blog even after tweeting it):
(Get a PDF fo' free via the link.)
Simultaneous Reduction of Two Common Autocalibration Errors in GRAPPA EPI Time Series Data
(Submitted on 5 Aug 2012)
The GRAPPA (GeneRalized Autocalibrating Partially Parallel Acquisitions) method of parallel MRI makes use of an autocalibration scan (ACS) to determine a set of synthesis coefficients to be used in the image reconstruction. For EPI time series the ACS data is usually acquired once prior to the time series. In this case the interleaved R-shot EPI trajectory, where R is the GRAPPA reduction factor, offers advantages which we justify from a theoretical and experimental perspective. Unfortunately, interleaved R-shot ACS can be corrupted due to perturbations to the signal (such as direct and indirect motion effects) occurring between the shots, and these perturbations may lead to artifacts in GRAPPA-reconstructed images. Consequently we also present a method of acquiring interleaved ACS data in a manner which can reduce the effects of inter-shot signal perturbations. This method makes use of the phase correction data, conveniently a part of many standard EPI sequences, to assess the signal perturbations between the segments of R-shot EPI ACS scans. The phase correction scans serve as navigator echoes, or more accurately a perturbation-sensitive signal, to which a root-mean-square deviation perturbation metric is applied for the determination of the best available complete ACS data set among multiple complete sets of ACS data acquired prior to the EPI time series. This best set (assumed to be that with the smallest valued perturbation metric) is used in the GRAPPA autocalibration algorithm, thereby permitting considerable improvement in both image quality and temporal signal-to-noise ratio of the subsequent EPI time series at the expense of a small increase in overall acquisition time.
* For some strange arXiv technical reason the author list is reordered from that which appears (correctly) on the PDF. C'est la vie.