T1-weighted contrast is conventionally obtained using multislice two-dimensional (2D) spin-echo (SE) imaging. Achieving isotropic, high spatial resolution is problematic with conventional methods due to a long acquisition time, imperfect slice profiles, or high-energy deposition. Single-slab 3D SE imaging was recently developed employing long echo trains with variable low flip angles to address these problems. However, long echo trains may yield suboptimal T1-weighted contrast, since T2 weighting of the signals tends to develop along the echo train. Image blurring may also occur if high spatial frequency signals are acquired with low signal intensity. The purpose of this work was to develop an optimized T1-weighted version of single-slab 3D SE imaging with long echo trains. Refocusing flip angles were calculated based on a tissue-specific prescribed signal evolution. Spatially nonselective excitation was used, followed by half-Fourier acquisition in the in-plane phase encoding (PE) direction. Restore radio frequency (RF) pulses were applied at the end of the echo train to optimize T1-weighted contrast. Imaging parameters were optimized by using Bloch equation simulation, and imaging studies of healthy subjects were performed to investigate the feasibility of whole-brain imaging with isotropic, high spatial resolution. The proposed technique permitted highly-efficient T1-weighted 3D SE imaging of the brain.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Rapid imaging
- Spin echo
- T1 contrast
- Variable flip angle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging