Achieving high-resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in vivo metabolic imaging via fast magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) has been a longstanding challenge. This study combines the methods of relaxation enhancement (RE) and subspace imaging for the first time, enabling high-resolution and high-SNR in vivo MRSI of rodent brains at 9.4 T. Specifically, an RE-based chemical shift imaging sequence, which combines a frequency-selective pulse to excite only the metabolite frequencies with minimum perturbation of the water spins and a pair of adiabatic pulses to spatially localize the slice of interest, is designed and evaluated in vivo. This strategy effectively shortens the apparent T1 of metabolites, thereby increasing the SNR during relatively short repetition time ((TR) compared with acquisitions with only spatially selective wideband excitations, and does not require water suppression. The SNR was further enhanced via a state-of-the-art subspace reconstruction method. A novel subspace learning strategy tailored for 9.4 T and RE acquisitions is developed. In vivo, high-resolution (e.g., voxel size of 0.6 × 0.6 × 1.5 mm3) MRSI of both healthy mouse brains and a glioma-bearing mouse brain in 12.5 min has been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • MR spectroscopic imaging
  • relaxation enhancement
  • small-animal imaging
  • subspace imaging
  • ultrahigh field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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