PURPOSE: Low magnetic field systems provide an important opportunity to expand MRI to new and diverse clinical and research study populations. However, a fundamental limitation of low field strength systems is the reduced SNR compared to 1.5 or 3T, necessitating compromises in spatial resolution and imaging time. Most often, images are acquired with anisotropic voxels with low through-plane resolution, which provide acceptable image quality with reasonable scan times, but can impair visualization of subtle pathology.
METHODS: Here, we describe a super-resolution approach to reconstruct high-resolution isotropic T2 -weighted images from a series of low-resolution anisotropic images acquired in orthogonal orientations. Furthermore, acquiring each image with an incremented TE allows calculations of quantitative T2 images without time penalty.
RESULTS: Our approach is demonstrated via phantom and in vivo human brain imaging, with simultaneous 1.5 × 1.5 × 1.5 mm3 T2 -weighted and quantitative T2 maps acquired using a clinically feasible approach that combines three acquisition that require approximately 4-min each to collect. Calculated T2 values agree with reference multiple TE measures with intraclass correlation values of 0.96 and 0.85 in phantom and in vivo measures, respectively, in line with previously reported brain T2 values at 150 mT, 1.5T, and 3T.
CONCLUSION: Our multi-orientation and multi-TE approach is a time-efficient method for high-resolution T2 -weighted images for anatomical visualization with simultaneous quantitative T2 imaging for increased sensitivity to tissue microstructure and chemical composition.