Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Martini N., Santarelli M. F., Giovannetti G., Milanesi M., De Marchi D., Positano V., Landini L. Noise correlations and SNR in phased-array MRS. In: Nmr in Biomedicine, vol. 23 pp. 66 - 73. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
The acquisition of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) signals by multiple receiver coils can improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) or alternatively can reduce the scan time maintaining a reliable SNR. However, using phased array coils in MRS studies requires efficient data processing and data combination techniques in order to exploit the sensitivity improvement of the phased array coil acquisition method. This paper describes a novel method for the combination of MRS signals acquired by phased array coils, even in presence of correlated noise between the acquisition channels. In fact, although it has been shown that electric and magnetic coupling mechanisms produce correlated noise in the coils, previous algorithms developed for MRS data combination have ignored this effect. The proposed approach takes advantage of a noise decorrelation stage to maximize the SNR of the combined spectra. In particular Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was exploited to project the acquired spectra in a subspace where the noise vectors are orthogonal. In this subspace the SNR weighting method will provide the optimal overall SNR. Performance evaluation of the proposed method is carried out on simulated 1H-MRS signals and experimental results are obtained on phantom 1H-MR spectra using a commercially available 8-element phased array coil. Noise correlations between elements were generally low due to the optimal coil design, leading to a fair SNR gain (about 0.5%) in the center of the field of view (FOV).
Subject Magnetic Resonance

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