Tissues with very short transverse relaxation time (T2) cannot be detected using conventional magnetic resonance (MR) sequences due to the rapid decay of excited MR signals. In this work, a multiecho sequence employing half-pulse excitation and spiral sampling was developed for ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging of tissues with short T2. Spiral readout gradients were measured and precompensated to reduce gradient distortions due to eddy currents and gradient anisotropy. The effects of spatial blurring due to fast signal decay were investigated experimentally through spiral UTE (SUTE) imaging of rubber bands with different spiral sampling duration. The unwanted long T2 signals were suppressed through the use of an inversion pulse and nulling, and/or subtraction of a later echo image from the initial one. This technique has been applied to imaging of the short T2 components in brain white matter, knee cartilage, bone and carotid vessel wall of normal volunteers at 1.5 T. Preliminary results show high spatial resolution and excellent image contrast for a variety of short T2 tissues in the human body under a relatively short scan time. A quantitative comparison was also made between radial UTE and SUTE in terms of signal-to-noise ratio efficiency.
This publication is referenced by other Labnodes entities: