Selective in vivo bone imaging with long-T2 suppressed PETRA MRI

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Abstract

Purpose

To design and evaluate an optimized PETRA (point-wise encoding time reduction with radial acquisition) sequence with long-T2 suppression at 3 Tesla.

Methods

An adiabatic inversion recovery-based scheme was used to null the long-T2 signal. To minimize scan time, the signal was sampled multiple times after each inversion with variable excitation flip angles designed to yield constant short-T2 signal amplitude. The excitation pulses were phase-modulated, allowing for increased flip angle and higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). A fast, noniterative image reconstruction algorithm was designed to minimize image artifacts due to nonuniform excitation profile.

Results

Phase-modulated pulse excitation, along with the noniterative reconstruction algorithm, allows the use of larger radiofrequency pulse flip angles, resulting in effective suppression of long-T2 protons and improved image SNR without causing image artifacts. Midtibia images representative of collagen-bound water yielded SNR of 15 at 1-mm isotropic resolution in 6.5 minutes with a standard extremity coil. Further, the technology is shown to be suited for generating multi-angle projection images of bone akin to X-ray images displaying subtle anatomic detail.

Conclusion

Optimized long-T2 suppressed PETRA allows imaging of bone matrix water unencumbered by long-T2 soft tissue and pore water protons, opening up new possibilities for anatomic bone imaging at isotropic resolution and quantification in clinically practical scan times. Magn Reson Med 77:989–997, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

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