Pulseq-Graphical Programming Interface: Open source visual environment for prototyping pulse sequences and integrated magnetic resonance imaging algorithm development

Publication date: October 2018
Source:Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Volume 52
Author(s): Keerthi Sravan Ravi, Sneha Potdar, Pavan Poojar, Ashok Kumar Reddy, Stefan Kroboth, Jon-Fredrik Nielsen, Maxim Zaitsev, Ramesh Venkatesan, Sairam Geethanath
PurposeTo provide a single open-source platform for comprehensive MR algorithm development inclusive of simulations, pulse sequence design and deployment, reconstruction, and image analysis.MethodsWe integrated the “Pulseq” platform for vendor-independent pulse programming with Graphical Programming Interface (GPI), a scientific development environment based on Python. Our integrated platform, Pulseq-GPI, permits sequences to be defined visually and exported to the Pulseq file format for execution on an MR scanner. For comparison, Pulseq files using either MATLAB only (“MATLAB-Pulseq”) or Python only (“Python-Pulseq”) were generated. We demonstrated three fundamental sequences on a 1.5 T scanner. Execution times of the three variants of implementation were compared on two operating systems.ResultsIn vitro phantom images indicate equivalence with the vendor supplied implementations and MATLAB-Pulseq. The examples demonstrated in this work illustrate the unifying capability of Pulseq-GPI. The execution times of all the three implementations were fast (a few seconds). The software is capable of user-interface based development and/or command line programming.ConclusionThe tool demonstrated here, Pulseq-GPI, integrates the open-source simulation, reconstruction and analysis capabilities of GPI Lab with the pulse sequence design and deployment features of Pulseq. Current and future work includes providing an ISMRMRD interface and incorporating Specific Absorption Ratio and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation computations.