3D fast spin echo with out-of-slab cancellation: A technique for high-resolution structural imaging of trabecular bone at 7 tesla

Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.57). 03/2010; 63(3):719-27. DOI: 10.1002/mrm.22213
Source: PubMed


Spin-echo-based pulse sequences are desirable for the application of high-resolution imaging of trabecular bone but tend to involve high-power deposition. Increased availability of ultrahigh field scanners has opened new possibilities for imaging with increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficiency, but many pulse sequences that are standard at 1.5 and 3 T exceed specific absorption rate limits at 7 T. A modified, reduced specific absorption rate, three-dimensional, fast spin-echo pulse sequence optimized specifically for in vivo trabecular bone imaging at 7 T is introduced. The sequence involves a slab-selective excitation pulse, low-power nonselective refocusing pulses, and phase cycling to cancel undesired out-of-slab signal. In vivo images of the distal tibia were acquired using the technique at 1.5, 3, and 7 T field strengths, and SNR was found to increase at least linearly using receive coils of identical geometry. Signal dependence on the choice of refocusing flip angles in the echo train was analyzed experimentally and theoretically by combining the signal from hundreds of coherence pathways, and it is shown that a significant specific absorption rate reduction can be achieved with negligible SNR loss.

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