Sensitivity encoding in two spatial dimensions (2D SENSE) with a receiver coil array is discussed as a means of improving the encoding efficiency of three-dimensional (3D) Fourier MRI. it is shown that in Fourier imaging with two phase encoding directions, 2D SENSE has key advantages over one-dimensional parallel imaging approaches. By exploiting two dimensions for hybrid encoding, the conditioning of the reconstruction problem can be considerably improved, resulting in superior signal-to-noise behavior. As a consequence, 2D SENSE permits greater scan time reduction, which particularly benefits the inherently time-consuming 3D techniques.
Along with the principles of 2D SENSE imaging, the properties of the technique are discussed and investigated by means of simulations. Special attention is given to the role of the coil configuration, yielding practical setups with four and six coils. The in vivo feasibility of the two-dimensional approach is demonstrated for 3D head imaging, permitting four-fold scan time reduction.
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