MAGPI: A framework for maximum likelihood MR phase imaging using multiple receive coils

Joseph Dagher, Kambiz Nael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose Combining MR phase images from multiple receive coils is a challenging problem, complicated by ambiguities introduced by phase wrapping, noise, and the unknown phase-offset between the coils. Various techniques have been proposed to mitigate the effect of these ambiguities but most of the existing methods require additional reference scans and/or use ad hoc post-processing techniques that do not guarantee any optimality. Theory and Methods Here, the phase estimation problem is formulated rigorously using a maximum-likelihood (ML) approach. The proposed framework jointly designs the acquisition-processing chain: the optimized pulse sequence is a single multiecho gradient echo scan and the corresponding postprocessing algorithm is a voxel-per-voxel ML estimator of the underlying tissue phase. Results Our proposed framework (Maximum AmbiGuity distance for Phase Imaging, MAGPI) achieves substantial improvements in the phase estimate, resulting in phase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) gains by up to an order of magnitude compared to existing methods. Conclusion The advantages of MAGPI are: (1) ML-optimal combination of phase data from multiple receive coils, without a reference scan; (2) voxel-per-voxel ML-optimal estimation of the underlying tissue phase, without the need for phase unwrapping or image smoothing; and (3) robust dynamic estimation of channel-dependent phase-offsets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1231
Number of pages14
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • MR phase
  • coil array
  • frequency offset
  • maximum likelihood
  • phase offset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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