Calibration of gradient propagation delays for accurate two-dimensional radiofrequency pulses.
Davies NP., Jezzard P.
Hardware-related delays between the requested and actual start times of the gradient waveforms on each physical axis are of particular importance for multidimensional selective excitation in which the synchronization of gradient and radiofrequency (RF) waveforms is critical. A method is proposed for the accurate calibration of gradient propagation delays to optimize the spatial accuracy of 2D RF pulses, although the results may also be used to reduce artifacts in other MR techniques. The sensitivity of 2D RF pulses to uncorrected time shifts between the gradient and RF waveforms was exploited to calibrate accurately the propagation delays on each physical gradient axis. This was achieved using a technique that relates the effect of gradient delays in the component waveforms of a constant-angular rate spiral k-space trajectory 2D RF pulse to the spatial location of the subsequent excitation profile. Comparison was also made with a procedure based on a previously described k-space plotting method, showing broad agreement, but with some discrepancies that illustrate the value of a self-referenced correction method for multidimensional RF pulses.