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Single-slice mapping of ultrashort T2

S. Kirsch and L. Schad

J Magn. Reson., 210 (1), pp.133-136

In this communication we present a method for single-slice mapping of ultrashort transverse relaxation times T2. The RF pulse sequence consists of a spin echo preparation of the magnetization followed by slice-selective ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging with radial k-space sampling. In order to keep the minimum echo time as small as possible, avoid out-of-slice contamination and signal contamination due to unwanted echoes, the implemented pulse sequence employs a slice-selective 180° RF refocusing pulse and a 4-step phase cycle. The slice overlap of the two slice-selective RF pulses was investigated. An acceptable Gaussian slice profile could be achieved by adjusting the strength of the two slice-selection gradients. The method was tested on a short T2 phantom consisting of an arrangement of a roll of adhesive tape, an eraser, a piece of modeling dough made of Plasticine®, and a 10% w/w agar gel. The T2 measurements on the phantom revealed exponential signal decays for all samples with T2(adhesive tape) = (0.5 ± 0.1) ms, T2(eraser) = (2.33 ± 0.07) ms, T2(Plasticine®) = (2.8 ± 0.06) ms, and T2(10% agar) = (9.5 ± 0.83) ms. The T2 values obtained by the mapping method show good agreement with the T2 values obtained by a non-selective T2 measurement. For all samples, except the adhesive tape, the effective transverse relaxation time was significantly shorter than T2. Depending on the scanner hardware the presented method allows mapping of T2 down to a few hundreds of microseconds. Besides investigating material samples, the presented method can be used to study the rapidly decaying MR-signal from biological tissue (e.g.: bone, cartilage, and tendon) and quadrupolar nuclei (e.g.: 23Na, 35Cl, and 17O).

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 21.09.2020
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