An iterative reconstruction technique for geometric distortion-corrected segmented echo-planar imaging
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In this article, we present a modified interleaved segmented echo-planar imaging (SEPI) sequence with a center-out k-space trajectory that is especially designed for susceptibility-weighted imaging applications. We introduce a simple and efficient technique to phase correct the acquired SEPI data in the presence of moderate field inhomogeneities. This phase correction reduces the distortion in the phase-encoding direction without requiring an extra reference scan. With the use of a center-out k-space trajectory and a low-spatial-frequency phase map, phase discontinuities between segments can be eliminated, in principle, iteratively using a fast Fourier transform from the center segment to the outermost segment in k-space. With an extra echo added in front of the echo train, neither phase unwrapping nor an extra reference scan is required to obtain a low-spatial-frequency phase map. The method is shown to remove blurring and reduce geometric distortion caused by phase changes from echo to echo in both phantom and human data. The method is most useful for high-resolution imaging applications and moderate factors of speed improvement.
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