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Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) of the kidney at 3 T - initial results

M. Mie, J. Nissen, F. Zöllner, M. Heilmann, S. Schoenberg, H. Michaely and L. Schad

Z Med Phys, 20 (2), pp.143-150

Susceptibility weighted imaging provides diagnostic information in strokes, hemorrhages, and cerebral tumors and has proven to be a valuable tool in imaging venous vessels in the cerebrum. The SWI principle is based on the weighting of T2* weighted magnitude images with a phase mask, therewith improving image contrast of veins or neighbouring structures of different susceptibility, in general. T2* weighted MRI is already used for assessment of kidney function. In this paper, the feasibility of SWI on kidneys was investigated. Translation of SWI from the brain to the kidneys comes along with two main challenges: (i) organ motion due to breathing and (ii) a higher oxygenation level of renal veins compared to the brain. To handle these problems, the acquisition time has been cut down to allow for breath-hold examinations, and different post-processing methods including a new phase mask were investigated to visualize renal veins. Results showed that by a new post-processing strategy SWI contrast was enhanced on average by a factor of 1.33 compared to the standard phase mask. In summary, initial experiences of SWI on the kidneys demonstrated the feasibility. However, further technical developments have to be performed to make this technology applicable in clinical abdominal MRI.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 22.05.2019
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