To provide 3D real‐time MRI of speech production with improved spatio‐temporal sharpness using randomized, variable‐density, stack‐of‐spiral sampling combined with a 3D spatio‐temporally constrained reconstruction.
We evaluated five candidate (k, t) sampling strategies using a previously proposed gradient‐echo stack‐of‐spiral sequence and a 3D constrained reconstruction with spatial and temporal penalties. Regularization parameters were chosen by expert readers based on qualitative assessment. We experimentally determined the effect of spiral angle increment and kz temporal order. The strategy yielding highest image quality was chosen as the proposed method. We evaluated the proposed and original 3D real‐time MRI methods in 2 healthy subjects performing speech production tasks that invoke rapid movements of articulators seen in multiple planes, using interleaved 2D real‐time MRI as the reference. We quantitatively evaluated tongue boundary sharpness in three locations at two speech rates.
The proposed data‐sampling scheme uses a golden‐angle spiral increment in the kx−ky plane and variable‐density, randomized encoding along kz. It provided a statistically significant improvement in tongue boundary sharpness score (P < .001) in the blade, body, and root of the tongue during normal and 1.5‐times speeded speech. Qualitative improvements were substantial during natural speech tasks of alternating high, low tongue postures during vowels. The proposed method was also able to capture complex tongue shapes during fast alveolar consonant segments. Furthermore, the proposed scheme allows flexible retrospective selection of temporal resolution.
We have demonstrated improved 3D real‐time MRI of speech production using randomized, variable‐density, stack‐of‐spiral sampling with a 3D spatio‐temporally constrained reconstruction.