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Keywords:

  • magnetic susceptibility;
  • phase;
  • brain;
  • MRI;
  • R2*;
  • relaxation

Abstract

Purpose:

To extend susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) to multiple echoes with an adapted homodyne filtering of phase images for the computation of venograms with improved signal to noise ratio (SNR) and contrast to noise ratio (CNR) and to produce high resolution maps of R2* relaxation.

Materials and Methods:

Three-dimensional multi echo gradient echo data were acquired with five equidistant echoes ranging from 13 to 41 ms. The phase images of each echo were filtered with filter parameters adjusted to the echo time, converted into a phase mask, and combined with the corresponding magnitude images to obtain susceptibility weighted images. The individual images were then averaged. Conventional single echo data were acquired for comparison. Maps of R2* relaxation rates were computed from the magnitude data. Field maps derived from the phase data were used to correct R2* for the influences from background inhomogeneities of the static magnetic field.

Results:

Compared with the single echo images, the combined images had an increase in SNR by 46% and an improvement in CNR by 34 to 80%, improved visibility of small venous vessels and reduced blurring along the readout direction. The R2* values of different tissue types are in good agreement with values from the literature.

Conclusion:

Acquisition of SWI with multiple echoes leads to an increase in SNR and CNR and it allows the computation of high resolution maps of R2* relaxation. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2010;31:185–191. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.