Fast data acquisition techniques in magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging

Rohini Vidya Shankar, John C. Chang, Houchun H. Hu, Vikram Kodibagkar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is an important technique for assessing the spatial variation of metabolites in vivo. The long scan times in MRSI limit clinical applicability due to patient discomfort, increased costs, motion artifacts, and limited protocol flexibility. Faster acquisition strategies can address these limitations and could potentially facilitate increased adoption of MRSI into routine clinical protocols with minimal addition to the current anatomical and functional acquisition protocols in terms of imaging time. Not surprisingly, a lot of effort has been devoted to the development of faster MRSI techniques that aim to capture the same underlying metabolic information (relative metabolite peak areas and spatial distribution) as obtained by conventional MRSI, in greatly reduced time. The gain in imaging time results, in some cases, in a loss of signal-to-noise ratio and/or in spatial and spectral blurring. This review examines the current techniques and advances in fast MRSI in two and three spatial dimensions and their applications. This review categorizes the acceleration techniques according to their strategy for acquisition of the k-space. Techniques such as fast/turbo-spin echo MRSI, echo-planar spectroscopic imaging, and non-Cartesian MRSI effectively cover the full k-space in a more efficient manner per TR. On the other hand, techniques such as parallel imaging and compressed sensing acquire fewer k-space points and employ advanced reconstruction algorithms to recreate the spatial-spectral information, which maintains statistical fidelity in test conditions (ie no statistically significant differences on voxel-wise comparisions) with the fully sampled data. The advantages and limitations of each state-of-the-art technique are reviewed in detail, concluding with a note on future directions and challenges in the field of fast spectroscopic imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4046
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • compressed sensing
  • echo-planar spectroscopic imaging
  • k-space trajectories
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging
  • parallel imaging
  • sensitivity encoding
  • wavelet encoding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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