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Journal Article

Limitations of rapid myelin water quantification using 3D bSSFP


Scheffler,  K
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Lenz, C., Klarhöfer, M., & Scheffler, K. (2010). Limitations of rapid myelin water quantification using 3D bSSFP. Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, 23(3), 139-151. doi:10.1007/s10334-010-0211-1.

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Object Imaging of the myelin water fraction (MWF) is conventionally performed using a multi-echo spin-echo sequence. This technique requires long acquisition times and therefore often suffers from a lack of volume coverage. In this work, the application of 3D balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) sequences to extract high-resolution myelin water maps is discussed. Materials and Methods Based on a two-pool water exchange model, an approximate bSSFP signal equation is derived and applied to fit the flip angle dependence of the in vivo bSSFP signal. Thereby, the MWF and signal amplitude are fitted, while a priori assumptions are made for the other parameters of the two-pool system. Results The effects of magnetization transfer, finite RF pulses, B 0 and B 1 inhomogeneities, as well as variation of the constant fit parameters, are investigated. Acquisition and calculation of quantitative, high-resolution MWF maps from white matter of healthy volunteers based on bSSFP is feasible and averaged MWF fit results agree with literature. However, results from numerical simulations indicate a severe dependence of the derived MWF values on the constant two-pool parameters. Conclusion The demonstrated dependence of the MWF on the two-pool parameters considerably impairs the applicability of the proposed method.