Quantitative magnetization transfer imaging using balanced SSFP.

Department of Radiology, Division of Radiological Physics, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.27). 10/2008; 60(3):691-700. DOI: 10.1002/mrm.21705
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is generally accepted that signal formation in balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) is a simple function of relaxation times and flip angle only. This can be confirmed for fluids, but for more complex substances, magnetization transfer (MT) can lead to a considerable loss of steady-state signal. Thus, especially in tissues, the analytical description of bSSFP requires a revision to fully take observed effects into account. In the first part of this work, an extended bSSFP signal equation is derived based on a binary spin-bath model. Based on this new model of bSSFP signal formation, quantitative MT parameters such as the fractional pool size, corresponding magnetization exchange rates, and relaxation times can be explored. In the second part of this work, model parameters are derived in normal appearing human brain. Factors that may influence the quality of the model, such as B(1) field inhomogeneities or off-resonances, are discussed. Overall, good correspondence between parameters derived from two-pool bSSFP and common quantitative MT models is observed. Short repetition times in combination with high signal-to-noise ratios make bSSFP an ideal candidate for the acquisition of high resolution isotropic quantitative MT maps, as for the human brain, within clinically feasible acquisition times.

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