PURPOSE: A ghost correction strategy for Simultaneous Multi-Slice (SMS) EPI methods that provides improved ghosting artifact reduction compared to conventional methods is presented. Conventional Nyquist ghost correction methods for SMS-EPI rely on navigator data that contain phase errors from all slices in the simultaneously acquired slice-group. These navigator data may contain spatially nonlinear phase differences near regions of B inhomogeneity, which violates the linear model employed by most EPI ghost correction algorithms, resulting in poor reconstructions.
METHODS: Dual-Polarity GRAPPA (DPG) was previously shown to accurately model and correct both spatially nonlinear and 2D phase errors in conventional single-slice EPI data. Here, an extension we call Dual-Polarity slice-GRAPPA (DPsG) is adapted to the slice-GRAPPA method and applied to SMS-EPI data for slice separation and ghost correction concurrently-eliminating the need for a separate ghost correction step while also providing improved slice-specific EPI phase error correction.
RESULTS: Images from in vivo SMS-EPI data reconstructed using DPsG in place of conventional Nyquist ghost correction and slice-GRAPPA are presented. DPsG is shown to reduce ghosting artifacts and provide improved temporal SNR compared to the conventional reconstruction.
CONCLUSION: The proposed use of DPsG for SMS-EPI reconstruction can provide images with lower artifact levels, higher image fidelity, and improved time-series stability compared to conventional reconstruction methods.