Removal of EPI Nyquist ghost artifacts with two-dimensional phase correction.
Odd-even echo inconsistencies result in Nyquist ghost artifacts in the reconstructed EPI images. The ghost artifacts reduce the image signal-to-noise ratio and make it difficult to correctly interpret the EPI data. In this article a new 2D phase mapping protocol and a postprocessing algorithm are presented for an effective Nyquist ghost artifacts removal. After an appropriate k-space data regrouping, a 2D map accurately encoding low- and high-order phase errors is derived from two phase-encoded reference scans, which were originally proposed by Hu and Le (Magn Reson Med 36:166-171;1996) for their 1D nonlinear correction method. The measured phase map can be used in the postprocessing algorithm developed to remove ghost artifacts in subsequent EPI experiments. Experimental results from phantom, animal, and human studies suggest that the new technique is more effective than previously reported methods and has a better tolerance to signal intensity differences between reference and actual EPI scans. The proposed method may potentially be applied to repeated EPI measurements without subject movements, such as functional MRI and diffusion coefficient mapping.
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