Noncontrast-enhanced renal angiography using multiple inversion recovery and alternating TR balanced steady-state free precession


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Noncontrast-enhanced renal angiography techniques based on balanced steady-state free precession avoid external contrast agents, take advantage of high inherent blood signal from the math formula contrast mechanism, and have short steady-state free precession acquisition times. However, background suppression is limited; inflow times are inflexible; labeling region is difficult to define when tagging arterial flow; and scan times are long. To overcome these limitations, we propose the use of multiple inversion recovery preparatory pulses combined with alternating pulse repetition time balanced steady-state free precession to produce renal angiograms. Multiple inversion recovery uses selective spatial saturation followed by four nonselective inversion recovery pulses to concurrently null a wide range of background math formula species while allowing for adjustable inflow times; alternating pulse repetition time steady-state free precession maintains vessel contrast and provides added fat suppression. The high level of suppression enables imaging in three-dimensional as well as projective two-dimensional formats, the latter of which has a scan time as short as one heartbeat. In vivo studies at 1.5 T demonstrate the superior vessel contrast of this technique. Magn Reson Med 70:527–536, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.