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1D and 2D diffusion pore imaging on a preclinical MR system using adaptive rephasing: Feasibility and pulse sequence comparison

M. Bertleff, S. Domsch, F. Laun, T. Kuder and L. Schad

J. Magn. Reson., 278, pp.39-50

Abstract Diffusion pore imaging (DPI) has recently been proposed as a means to acquire images of the average pore shape in an image voxel or region of interest. The highly asymmetric gradient scheme of its sequence makes it substantially demanding in terms of the hardware of the \{NMR\} system. The aim of this work is to show the feasibility of \{DPI\} on a preclinical 9.4 T animal scanner. Using water-filled capillaries with an inner radius of 10 μm, four different variants of the \{DPI\} sequence were compared in 1D and 2D measurements. The pulse sequences applied cover the basic implementation using one long and one temporally narrow gradient pulse, a CPMG-like variant with multiple refocusing \{RF\} pulses as well as two variants splitting up the long gradient and distributing it on either side of the refocusing pulse. Substantial differences between the methods were found in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, contrast, blurring, deviations from the expected results and sensitivity to gradient imperfections. Each of the tested sequences was found to produce characteristic gradient mismatches dependent on the absolute value, direction and sign of the applied q-value. Read gradients were applied to compensate these mismatches translating them into time shifts, which enabled 1D \{DPI\} yielding capillary radius estimations within the tolerances specified by the manufacturer. For a successful \{DPI\} application in 2D, a novel gradient amplitude adaption scheme was implemented to correct for the occurring time shifts. Using this adaption, higher conformity to the expected pore shape, reduced blurring and enhanced contrast were achieved. Images of the phantom’s pore shape could be acquired with a nominal resolution of 2.2 μm.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 18.11.2019
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