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Local SAR, global SAR, and power-constrained large-flip- angle pulses with optimal control and virtual observation points

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Purpose: To present a constrained optimal-control (OC) framework for designing large-flip-angle parallel-transmit (pTx) pulses satisfying hardware peak-power as well as regulatory local and global specific-absorption-rate (SAR) limits. The application is 2D and 3D spatial-selective 90° and 180° pulses. Theory and Methods: The OC gradient-ascent-pulse-engineering method with exact gradients and the limited-memory Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno method is proposed. Local SAR is constrained by the virtual-observation-points method. Two numerical models facilitated the optimizations, a torso at 3 T and a head at 7 T, both in eight-channel pTx coils and acceleration-factors up to 4. Results: The proposed approach yielded excellent flip-angle distributions. Enforcing the local-SAR constraint, as opposed to peak power alone, reduced the local SAR 7 and 5-fold with the 2D torso excitation and inversion pulse, respectively. The root-mean-square errors of the magnetization profiles increased less than 5% with the acceleration factor of 4. Conclusion: A local and global SAR, and peak-power constrained OC large-flip-angle pTx pulse design was presented, and numerically validated for 2D and 3D spatial-selective 90° and 180° pulses at 3 T and 7 T. Magn Reson Med 77:374–384, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Pages (from-to)374–384
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • hard constraints, local SAR, multidimensional spatial-selective excitation, optimal control, virtual observation points

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