Purpose: To develop self-navigated motion correction for 3D silent zero echo time (ZTE) based neuroimaging and characterize its performance for different types of head motion. Methods: The proposed method termed MERLIN (Motion Estimation & Retrospective correction Leveraging Interleaved Navigators) achieves self-navigation by using interleaved 3D phyllotaxis k-space sampling. Low resolution navigator images are reconstructed continuously throughout the ZTE acquisition using a sliding window and co-registered in image space relative to a fixed reference position. Rigid body motion corrections are then applied retrospectively to the k-space trajectory and raw data and reconstructed into a final, high-resolution ZTE image. Results: MERLIN demonstrated successful and consistent motion correction for magnetization prepared ZTE images for a range of different instructed motion paradigms. The acoustic noise response of the self-navigated phyllotaxis trajectory was found to be only slightly above ambient noise levels (<4 dBA). Conclusion: Silent ZTE imaging combined with MERLIN addresses two major challenges intrinsic to MRI (i.e., subject motion and acoustic noise) in a synergistic and integrated manner without increase in scan time and thereby forms a versatile and powerful framework for clinical and research MR neuroimaging applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date5 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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