Sensitivity Encoded Cardiac MRI
Imaging speed is a key factor in most cardiovascular applications of magnetic resonance imaging. Recently, simultaneous signal acquisition with multiple coils has received increasing attention as a means of enhancing scan speed in MRI. Based on this approach, the sensitivity encoding technique SENSE enables substantial scan time reduction by exploiting the inherent spatial encoding effect of receiver coil sensitivity. This work studies the benefit of sensitivity encoding for cardiovascular MRI. SENSE is applied to accelerate common breath-hold imaging as well as real-time imaging by factors up to 3.2. In the breath-hold mode with ECG triggering, this speed benefit has been used both for reducing the breath-hold interval and for improving spatial resolution. In cardiac real-time imaging without triggering and breath control, the SENSE approach has enabled significantly enhanced temporal resolution, ranging down to 13 ms (77 frames/s). Cardiac real-time SENSE is demonstrated in several modes, including real-time imaging of three parallel slices at a rate of 25 triple frames per second.