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Practical signal-to-noise ratio quantification for sensitivity encoding: Application to coronary MR angiography.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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Purpose: To develop and evaluate a practical method for the quantification of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on coronary MR angiograms (MRA) acquired with parallel imaging.Materials and Methods: To quantify the spatially varying noise due to parallel imaging reconstruction, a new method has been implemented incorporating image data acquisition followed by a fast noise scan during which radio-frequency pulses, cardiac triggering and navigator gating are disabled. The performance of this method was evaluated in a phantom study where SNR measurements were compared with those of a reference standard (multiple repetitions). Subsequently, SNR of myocardium and posterior skeletal muscle was determined on in vivo human coronary MRA.Results: In a phantom, the SNR measured using the proposed method deviated less than 10.1% from the reference method for small geometry factors (<= 2). In vivo, the noise scan for a 10 min coronary MRA acquisition was acquired in 30 s. Higher signal and lower SNR, due to spatially varying noise, were found in myocardium compared with posterior skeletal muscle.Conclusion: SNR quantification based on a fast noise scan is a validated and easy-to-use method when applied to three-dimensional coronary MRA obtained with parallel imaging as long as the geometry factor remains low.
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