Attempts have been made to reduce the total scan time in multi-dimensional J-resolved spectroscopic imaging (JRESI) using an echo-planar (EP) readout gradient, but acquisition duration remains a limitation for routine clinical use in the brain. We present here a significant acceleration achieved with a 4D EP-JRESI sequence that collects dual phase encoded lines within a single repetition time (TR) using two bipolar read-out trains. The performance and reliability of this novel 4D sequence, called Multi-Echo based Echo-Planar J-resolved Spectroscopic Imaging (ME-EP-JRESI), was evaluated in 10 healthy controls and a brain phantom using a 3 T MRI/MRS scanner. The prior knowledge fitting (ProFit) algorithm, with a new simulated basis set consisting of macromolecules and lipids apart from metabolites of interest, was used for quantitation. Both phantom and in-vivo data demonstrated that localization and spatial/spectral profiles of metabolites from the ME-EP-JRESI sequence were in good agreement with that of the EP-JRESI sequence. Both in the occipital and temporal lobe, metabolites with higher physiological concentrations including Glx (Glu+Gln), tNAA (NAA+NAAG), mI all had coefficient of variations between 9-25%. In summary, we have implemented, validated and tested the ME-EP-JRESI sequence, demonstrating that multi-echo acquisition can successfully reduce the total scan duration for EP-JRESI sequences.
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