Quantitative in vivo T2 mapping using fast spin echo techniques – A linear correction procedure
A method is presented for correcting the effects of stimulated and indirect echoes on quantitative T2 mapping data acquired with multiple spin echo techniques, such as turbo spin echo. In contrast to similar correction techniques proposed in the literature, the method does not require a priori knowledge of the radio frequency (RF) pulse profiles. In a first step, for the T2 mapping protocol under investigation, signal decay curves S(TE) are simulated for a range of different RF pulse profiles. The actual signal decay S(TE) is then measured on a phantom with known T2, so the approximate RF pulse profiles can be derived via comparison with the simulated decay curves. In a second step, with the RF pulses obtained from step one, signal decay curves S(TE) are simulated for different T2 values and fitted mono-exponentially, thus allowing to deduce the relationship between true T2 and the apparent T2 (T2app) values. Results show that this relationship is approximately linear, allowing for a direct correction of T2app maps. If the amplitude of the transmitted RF field (B1) does not exceed the nominal value by more than 10%, it is shown that a B1-independent correction of T2app maps yields sufficiently accurate results for T2. A B1-dependent version is also presented. The method is tested in vitro on a phantom with different T2 values and in vivo on healthy subjects.