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Publications (8)20.07 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Transmit arrays have been developed to mitigate the RF field inhomogeneity commonly observed in high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), typically above 3 T for a human chest and 7 T for a human brain. To this end, the knowledge of the RF complex-valued transmit-sensitivities of each independent radiating element has become essential. This article details a method to speed up a currently available -calibration method. The principle relies on slice undersampling, slice and channel interleaving and kriging, an interpolation method developed in geostatistics and applicable in many domains. It has been demonstrated that, under certain conditions, kriging gives the best estimator of a field in a region of interest. The resulting accelerated sequence allows mapping a complete set of 8 volumetric field maps of the human head in about one minute. For validation, the accuracy of kriging is first evaluated against a well-known interpolation technique based on Fourier transform as well as to a -maps interpolation method presented in the literature. This analysis is carried out on simulated maps and on a decimated set of experimental maps measured with a standard sequence. Finally, the new accelerated sequence is compared to the standard sequence on a phantom and a volunteer. While mapping is becoming a routine for transmitting array coils, the new sequence will provide maps at least three times faster with a loss of accuracy limited potentially to about 5%.
    IEEE transactions on medical imaging. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A new set-up for exposure of human cells in vitro at 37°C to pulse-modulated 300 MHz and 500 MHz signals of future magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems is designed, built up, and characterized. Two dipole antennas, specifically designed for ultra high field MRI, are used as radiating structures. The electromagnetic (EM) field distribution inside the incubator containing the cells is computed, and it is shown to be in a good agreement with measurements. The electric field at the cell level is quantified numerically. Local, 1g average, and averaged over the culture medium volume SAR are provided along with the standard deviation values for each well. Temperature increments are measured inside the culture medium during the exposure using an optical fiber thermometer. Then we identify the pulse parameters corresponding to the thermal threshold of 1°C, usually considered as a threshold for thermally-induced biological effects. For these parameters, the induction of heat shock proteins is assessed to biologically verify a potential thermal response of cells. The data demonstrate that, under the considered experimental conditions, exposure to pulsemodulated radiations emulating typical ultra high field MRI signals, corresponding to temperature increments below 1°C, does not trigger any heat shock response in human brain cells.
    IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering 06/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the promises of Ultra High Field (UHF) MRI scanners is to bring finer spatial resolution in the human brain images due to an increased signal to noise ratio. However, at such field strengths, the spatial non-uniformity of the Radio Frequency (RF) transmit profiles challenges the applicability of most MRI sequences, where the signal and contrast levels strongly depend on the flip angle (FA) homogeneity. In particular, the MP-RAGE sequence, one of the most commonly employed 3D sequences to obtain T1-weighted anatomical images of the brain, is highly sensitive to these spatial variations. These cause deterioration in image quality and complicate subsequent image post-processing such as automated tissue segmentation at UHF. In this work, we evaluate the potential of parallel-transmission (pTx) to obtain high-quality MP-RAGE images of the human brain at 7 T. To this end, non-selective transmit-SENSE pulses were individually tailored for each of 8 subjects under study, and applied to an 8-channel transmit-array. Such RF pulses were designed both for the low-FA excitation train and the 180° inversion preparation involved in the sequence, both utilizing the recently introduced k(T)-point trajectory. The resulting images were compared with those obtained from the conventional method and from subject-specific RF-shimmed excitations. In addition, four of the volunteers were scanned at 3 T for benchmarking purposes (clinical setup without pTx). Subsequently, automated tissue classification was performed to provide a more quantitative measure of the final image quality. Results indicated that pTx could already significantly improve image quality at 7 T by adopting a suitable RF-Shim. Exploiting the full potential of the pTx-setup, the proposed k(T)-point method provided excellent inversion fidelity, comparable to what is commonly only achievable at 3 T with energy intensive adiabatic pulses. Furthermore, the cumulative energy deposition was simultaneously reduced by over 40% compared to the conventional adiabatic inversions. Regarding the low-FA k(T)-point based excitations, the FA uniformity achieved at 7 T surpassed what is typically obtained at 3 T. Subsequently, automated white and gray matter segmentation not only confirmed the expected improvements in image quality, but also suggests that care should be taken to properly account for the strong local susceptibility effects near cranial cavities. Overall, these findings indicate that the k(T)-point-based pTx solution is an excellent candidate for UHF 3D imaging, where patient safety is a major concern due to the increase of specific absorption rates.
    NeuroImage 05/2012; 62(3):2140-50. · 6.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate, via numerical simulations, the compliance of the specific absorption rate (SAR) versus temperature guidelines for the human head in magnetic resonance imaging procedures utilizing parallel transmission at high field. A combination of finite element and finite-difference time-domain methods was used to calculate the evolution of the temperature distribution in the human head for a large number of parallel transmission scenarios. The computations were performed on a new model containing 20 anatomical structures. Among all the radiofrequency field exposure schemes simulated, the recommended 39°C maximum local temperature was never exceeded when the local 10-g average SAR threshold was reached. On the other hand, the maximum temperature barely complied with its guideline when the global SAR reached 3.2 W/kg. The maximal temperature in the eye could very well rise by more than 1°C in both cases. Considering parallel transmission, the recommended values of local 10-g SAR may remain a relevant metric to ensure that the local temperature inside the human head never exceeds 39°C, although it can lead to rises larger than 1°C in the eye. Monitoring temperature instead of SAR can provide increased flexibility in pulse design for parallel transmission.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 01/2012; 35(6):1312-21. · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transmit arrays have been developed to compensate for radiofrequency inhomogeneities in high-field MRI using different excitation schemes. They can be classified into static or dynamic shimmings depending on the target: homogenizing the radiofrequency field directly or homogenizing the flip angle distribution using the Bloch equation. We have developed an intermediate solution to compare shimming performances between different transmit arrays. This solution, called generalized double-acquisition imaging, is easier to implement than most dynamic shimming methods and offers more degrees of freedom than static shimmings. It uses two acquisitions so that the second acquisition complements the excitation of the first one to obtain by superposition an image that minimizes radiofrequency artefacts. For validation, the method is demonstrated experimentally for a gradient echo sequence on a spherical homogeneous phantom and by simulation on a human head model.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 06/2011; 67(1):175-82. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With Transmit SENSE, we demonstrate the feasibility of uniformly exciting a volume such as the human brain at 7T through the use of an original minimalist transmit k-space coverage, referred to as "k(T) -points." Radio-frequency energy is deposited only at a limited number of k-space locations in the vicinity of the center to counteract transmit sensitivity inhomogeneities. The resulting nonselective pulses are short and need little energy compared to adiabatic or other B 1+-robust pulses available in the literature, making them good candidates for short-repetition time 3D sequences at high field. Experimental verification was performed on three human volunteers at 7T by means of an 8-channel transmit array system. On average, whereas the standard circularly polarized excitation resulted in a 33%-flip angle spread (standard deviation over mean) throughout the brain, and a static radio-frequency shim showed flip angle variations of 17% and up, application of k(T) -point-based excitations demonstrated excellent flip angle uniformity (8%) for a small target flip angle and with sub-millisecond durations.
    Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 05/2011; 67(1):72-80. · 3.27 Impact Factor
  • Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS). 01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: PurposeTo reduce the local specific absorption rate (SAR) obtained with tailored pulses using parallel transmission while obtaining homogenous flip angle distributions.Materials and Methods Finite-element simulations on a human head model were performed to obtain the individual magnetic and electric field maps for each channel of a parallel transmit array. From those maps, SAR calculations were carried out for “spoke” pulses designed to homogenize the flip angle in an axial slice of a human brain at 7 T. Based on the assumption that the coil element nearest to the maximum local energy deposition is the dominant contributor to the corresponding hot spot, a set of channel-dependent Tikhonov parameters is optimized. Resulting SAR distributions are compared to the ones obtained when using standard pulse design approaches based on a single Tikhonov parameter.ResultsIn both the small- and large-tip-angle domain, the simulations show local SAR reductions by over a factor of 2 (4) for a well-centered (off-centered) head model at the expense of roughly 1% increment in flip-angle spread over the slice.Conclusion Significant SAR reductions can be obtained by optimizing channel-dependent Tikhonov parameters based on the relation between coil elements and SAR hot spot positions. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2010;32:1209–1216. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 10/2010; 32(5):1209 - 1216. · 2.57 Impact Factor