RF Refocused Echoes of J-Coupled Spin Systems: Effects on Rare-Based Spectroscopic Imaging

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A numerical simulation tool was developed to calculate the echo amplitudes of J-coupled resonances within a series of radiofrequency (RF) refocused echoes. The signal modulation due to J-coupling in rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) is suppressed only when the inverse of the pulse interval (τ) is large compared to both the chemical shift (CS) difference (Δδ) of the coupled spins and the coupling constant. In contrast, the echo amplitudes in ultrafast low-flip-angle RARE (U-FLARE) oscillate around a quasi-steady-state value that is greater than zero (neglecting relaxation and diffusion) even when Δδ > 1/τ. The flip-angle distribution over the measured slice caused by the use of Gaussian-shape slice-selective refocusing pulses further reduces the echo oscillations. When the pulse interval falls short of the fast pulse rate regime, spectroscopic U-FLARE provides an improved spatial impulse response in the phase-encoding (PE) direction compared to spectroscopic RARE. Magn Reson Med 57:967–971, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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