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Hyperfine Artifacts in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Imaging

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Low-molecular weight nitroxide labels (nitroxides) are commonly used as probes in electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The nitroxides exhibit multiple lines in their EPR spectrum due to hyperfine coupling of the unpaired electron with the nitrogen nucleus. In EPR imaging, these hyperfine lines cause either hyperfine-based limitations in the maximum obtainable image resolution or hyperfine-based artifacts in the reconstructed image. In this article we discuss the effect of hyperfine artifacts on the quality of the image and report the application of a numerical method based on forward-subtraction principles for removing hyperfine artifacts in the measured projections. We demonstrate using computer simulations and imaging phantoms that marked enhancement in image quality and resolution can be obtained by removing the hyperfine-imposed limit on the gradient magnitude and performing post-acquisition corrections for removing hyperfine artifacts in the image.

Affiliations: 1: Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Laboratories, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and the EPR Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA


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