Balanced multi-shot EPI for accelerated Cartesian MRF: An alternative to spiral MRF

The main purpose of this study is to show that a highly accelerated Cartesian MRF scheme using a multi-shot EPI readout (i.e. multi-shot EPI-MRF) can produce good quality multi-parametric maps such as T1, T2 and proton density (PD) in a sufficiently short scan duration that is similar to conventional MRF. This multi-shot approach allows considerable subsampling while traversing the entire k-space trajectory, can yield better SNR, reduced blurring, less distortion and can also be used to collect higher resolution data compared to existing single-shot EPI-MRF implementations. The generated parametric maps are compared to an accelerated spiral MRF implementation with the same acquisition parameters to evaluate the performance of this method. Additionally, an iterative reconstruction algorithm is applied to improve the accuracy of parametric map estimations and the fast convergence of EPI-MRF is also demonstrated.

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