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Morphing steady-state free precession


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

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Bieri, O., Patil S, Quick, H., & Scheffler, K. (2007). Morphing steady-state free precession. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 58(6), 1242-1248. doi:10.1002/mrm.21421.

A novel concept for visualization of positive contrast originating from susceptibility-related magnetic field distortions is presented. In unbalanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) the generic, gradient-induced dephasing competes with local gradient fields generated by paramagnetic materials. Thus, within the same image, SSFP may morph its own appearance from unbalanced to balanced SSFP (bSSFP) as a result of local gradient compensation. In combination with low to very low flip angles, unbalanced SSFP signals are heavily suppressed, whereas bSSFP locally produces very high steady-state amplitudes at certain frequency offsets. As a result, bSSFP signals appear hyperintense on an almost completely dark background. In this study, the conceptual issues of local gradient compensation and frequency matching, as well as the feasibility of proper detection of marker materials for interventional MRI from hyperintense pixels locations, are evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Signal dependencies of morphing SSFP on sequence parameters such as flip angle or repetition time are investigated theoretically and experimentally. In addition to passive tracking of interventional devices, morphing SSFP might also be a promising new concept for the generation of positive contrast from super-paramagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles in contrast-enhanced MRI as well as for particle tracking.