Universal pulses for homogeneous excitation using single channel coils

Ronald Mooiweer, Ian Clark, Eleanor Maguire, Martina Callaghan, Jo Hajnal, Shaihan Malik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Universal Pulses (UPs) are excitation pulses that reduce the flip angle inhomogeneity in high field MRI systems without subject-specific optimization, originally developed for parallel transmit (PTX) systems at 7 T. We investigated the potential benefits of UPs for single channel (SC) transmit systems at 3 T, which are widely used for clinical and research imaging, and for which flip angle inhomogeneity can still be problematic. Methods: SC-UPs were designed using a spiral nonselective k-space trajectory for brain imaging at 3 T using transmit field maps (B 1 +) and off-resonance maps (B 0) acquired on two different scanner types: a ‘standard’ single channel transmit system and a system with a PTX body coil. The effect of training group size was investigated using data (200 subjects) from the standard system. The PTX system was used to compare SC-UPs to PTX-UPs (15 subjects). In two additional subjects, prospective imaging using SC-UP was studied. Results: Average flip angle homogeneity error fell from 9.5 ± 0.5 % for ‘default’ excitation to 3.0 ± 0.6 % using SC-UPs trained over 50 subjects. Performance of the UPs was found to steadily improve as training group size increased, but stabilized after ~15 subjects. On the PTX-enabled system, SC-UPs again outperformed default excitation in simulations (4.8 ± 0.6 % error versus 10.6 ± 0.8 % respectively) though greater homogenization could be achieved with PTX-UPs (3.9 ± 0.6 %) and personalized pulses (SC-PP 3.6 ± 1.0 %, PTX-PP 2.9 ± 0.6 %). MP-RAGE imaging using SC-UP resulted in greater separation between grey and white matter signal intensities than default excitation. Conclusions: SC-UPs can improve excitation homogeneity in standard 3 T systems without further calibration and could be used instead of a default excitation pulse for nonselective neuroimaging at 3 T.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance imaging
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Universal pulses for homogeneous excitation using single channel coils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this