A technique suitable for diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) at high field strengths is presented in this work. The method is based on a periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction (PROPELLER) k-space trajectory using EPI as the signal readout module, and hence is dubbed PROPELLER EPI. The implementation of PROPELLER EPI included a series of correction schemes to reduce possible errors associated with the intrinsically higher sensitivity of EPI to off-resonance effects. Experimental results on a 3.0 Tesla MR system showed that the PROPELLER EPI images exhibit substantially reduced geometric distortions compared with single-shot EPI, at a much lower RF specific absorption rate (SAR) than the original version of the PROPELLER fast spin-echo (FSE) technique. For DTI, the self-navigated phase-correction capability of the PROPELLER EPI sequence was shown to be effective for in vivo imaging. A higher signal-to-noise ratio (SMR) compared to single-shot EPI at an identical total scan time was achieved, which is advantageous for routine DTI applications in clinical practice.
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