Simultaneous Mapping of Water Diffusion Coefficients and Metabolite Distributions of the Brain Using MR Spectroscopic Imaging Without Water Suppression

Rong Guo, Yudu Li, Yibo Zhao, Tianyao Wang, Yao Li, Brad Sutton, Zhi Pei Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To simultaneously map water diffusion coefficients and metabolite distributions of the brain in magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) experiments within a clinically feasible time. Methods: A diffusion-preparation module was introduced in water-unsuppressed MRSI acquisition sequence to generate diffusion weighting of the water signals. Fast spatiospectral encodings were achieved using echo-planar spectroscopic imaging readouts with blipped phase encodings for sparse sampling. Navigator signals were embedded in the data acquisition sequence, which were used for detection of data corrupted by physiological motion in the diffusion preparation period. In data processing, a novel model-based method was developed to effectively use sparse (k, t)-space spectroscopic signals for reconstruction of the spatial distributions of water diffusion coefficients and metabolite concentrations. Results: Both phantom experiments and in vivo experiments were carried out to evaluate the feasibility and performance of the proposed method. In an 8-minute scan, diffusion weighted images and apparent diffusion coefficients map at 2.0×1.0×1.0 mm3 were obtained simultaneously with metabolite maps at 2.0×3.0×3.0 mm3 nominal resolution. Conclusion: We demonstrated the feasibility of using the unsuppressed water signals from MRSI experiments to map the water diffusion coefficients of brain tissues and proposed a novel method to achieve simultaneous mapping of water diffusion coefficients and metabolite distributions. Significance: The proposed method provides a unique imaging tool for simultaneous diffusion and metabolic imaging. This method is expected to be useful for various brain imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-969
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Image reconstruction
  • MR spectroscopic imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Navigation
  • Physiology
  • Signal to noise ratio
  • Trajectory
  • diffusion imaging
  • generalized series modeling
  • sparse sampling
  • subspace modeling
  • Diffusion imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous Mapping of Water Diffusion Coefficients and Metabolite Distributions of the Brain Using MR Spectroscopic Imaging Without Water Suppression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this