Magnetic resonance Spectroscopy with Linear Algebraic Modeling (SLAM) for higher speed and sensitivity
Speed and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) are critical for localized magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of low-concentration metabolites. Matching voxels to anatomical compartments a priori yields better SNR than the spectra created by summing signals from constituent chemical-shift-imaging (CSI) voxels post-acquisition. Here, a new method of localized Spectroscopy using Linear Algebraic Modeling (SLAM) is presented, that can realize this additional SNR gain. Unlike prior methods, SLAM generates spectra from C signal-generating anatomic compartments utilizing a CSI sequence wherein essentially only the C central k-space phase-encoding gradient steps with highest SNR are retained. After MRI-based compartment segmentation, the spectra are reconstructed by solving a sub-set of linear simultaneous equations from the standard CSI algorithm. SLAM is demonstrated with one-dimensional CSI surface coil phosphorus MRS in phantoms, the human leg and the heart on a 3T clinical scanner. Its SNR performance, accuracy, sensitivity to registration errors and inhomogeneity, are evaluated. Compared to one-dimensional CSI, SLAM yielded quantitatively the same results 4-times faster in 24 cardiac patients and healthy subjects. SLAM is further extended with fractional phase-encoding gradients that optimize SNR and/or minimize both inter- and intra-compartmental contamination. In proactive cardiac phosphorus MRS of six healthy subjects, both SLAM and fractional-SLAM (fSLAM) produced results indistinguishable from CSI while preserving SNR gains of 36–45% in the same scan-time. Both SLAM and fSLAM are simple to implement and reduce the minimum scan-time for CSI, which otherwise limits the translation of higher SNR achievable at higher field strengths to faster scanning. âº SLAM is a new method of localizing spectra to C anatomic compartments located by MRI. âº C phase-encoding gradients are selected from central k-space to maximize SNR. âº Compartment-average spectra are reconstructed from a reduced CSI equation set. âº Application to 24 31P heart MRS studies yields same quantitative results 4-times faster. âº Proactive application in 6 hearts yields 30–40% 31P MRS SNR gain in same time and volume.