Scattering matrix imaging pulse design for real-time respiration and cardiac motion monitoring.
Jaeschke SHF., Robson MD., Hess AT.
PURPOSE: The scattering matrix (S-matrix) of a parallel transmit (pTx) coil is sensitive to physiological motion but requires additional monitoring RF pulses to be measured. In this work, we present and evaluate pTx RF pulse designs that simultaneously excite for imaging and measure the S-matrix to generate real-time motion signals without prolonging the image sequence. THEORY AND METHODS: Three pTx waveforms for measuring the S-matrix were identified and superimposed onto the imaging excitation RF pulses: (1) time division multiplexing, (2) frequency division multiplexing, and (3) code division multiplexing. These 3 methods were evaluated in healthy volunteers for scattering sensitivity and image artefacts. The S-matrix and real-time motion signals were calculated on the image calculation environment of the MR scanner. Prospective cardiac triggers were identified in early systole as a high rate of change of the cardiac motion signal. Monitoring accuracy was compared against electrocardiogram or the imaged diaphragm position. RESULTS: All 3 monitoring approaches measure the S-matrix during image excitation with quality correlated to input power. No image artefacts were observed for frequency multiplexing, and low energy artefacts were observed in the other methods. The accuracy of the achieved prospective cardiac gating was 15 ± 16 ms for breath hold and 24 ± 17 ms during free breathing. The diaphragm position prediction accuracy was 1.3 ± 0.9 mm. In all volunteers, good quality cine images were acquired for breath hold scans and dual gated CINEs were demonstrated. CONCLUSION: The S-matrix can be measured during image excitation to generate real-time cardiac and respiratory motion signals for prospective gating. No artefacts are introduced when frequency division multiplexing is used.