-  Hvidovre Hospital [NORA names: Capital Region of Denmark; Hospital; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]
-  Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics [NORA names: Germany; Europe, EU; OECD]
-  Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research
-  Technical University of Denmark [NORA names: DTU Technical University of Denmark; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]
-  University of Tübingen [NORA names: Germany; Europe, EU; OECD]
PURPOSE: Clinical use of transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) requires accurate knowledge of the injected current distribution in the brain. MR current density imaging (MRCDI) uses measurements of the TES-induced magnetic fields to provide this information. However, sufficient sensitivity and image quality in humans in vivo has only been documented for single-slice imaging. METHODS: A recently developed, optimally spoiled, acquisition-weighted, gradient echo-based 2D-MRCDI method has now been advanced for volume coverage with densely or sparsely distributed slices: The 3D rectilinear sampling (3D-DENSE) and simultaneous multislice acquisition (SMS-SPARSE) were optimized and verified by cable-loop experiments and tested with 1-mA TES experiments for two common electrode montages. RESULTS: Comparisons between the volumetric methods against the 2D-MRCDI showed that relatively long acquisition times of 3D-DENSE using a single slab with six slices hindered the expected sensitivity improvement in the current-induced field measurements but improved sensitivity by 61% in the Laplacian of the field, on which some MRCDI reconstruction methods rely. Also, SMS-SPARSE acquisition of three slices, with a factor 2 CAIPIRINHA (controlled aliasing in parallel imaging results in higher acceleration) acceleration, performed best against the 2D-MRCDI with sensitivity improvements for the and Laplacian noise floors of 56% and 78% (baseline without current flow) as well as 43% and 55% (current injection into head). SMS-SPARSE reached a sensitivity of 67 pT for three distant slices at 2 × 2 × 3 mm3 resolution in 10 min of total scan time, and consistently improved image quality. CONCLUSION: Volumetric MRCDI measurements with high sensitivity and image quality are well suited to characterize the TES field distribution in the human brain.