Latest experimental results in magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography (MREIT) demonstrated high-resolution in vivo conductivity imaging of animal and human subjects using imaging currents of 5 to 9 mA. Externally injected imaging currents induce magnetic flux density distributions, which are affected by a conductivity distribution. Since we extract the induced magnetic flux density images from MR phase images, it is essential to reduce noise in the phase images. In vivo human and disease model animal experiments require reduction of imaging current amplitudes and scan times. In this article, we investigate a multi-echo based MREIT pulse sequence where we utilize a remaining time after the first echo within one TR to obtain more echo signals. It also allows us to prolong the total current injection time. From phantom and animal imaging experiments, we found that this method significantly reduces the noise level in measured magnetic flux density images. We describe experimental validation of the multi-echo sequence by comparing its performance with a single-echo method using 3 mA imaging currents. The proposed method will be advantageous for an imaging region with long T2 values such as the brain and knee. Depending on T2 values, we suggest using two or three echoes in future experimental studies.
- conductivity image
- magnetic flux density