Three-dimensional time-of-flight MR angiography with variable TE (VARIETE) for fat signal reduction
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Uniform fat saturation over a large region of interest remains a problem in time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance angiography applications. We demonstrate that a variable echo time with an opposed phase value at low spatial slice select frequencies can effectively reduce most of the fat signal in an otherwise standard three-dimensional TOF acquisition. We evaluated this method at 1.5 T using a short TE = 5.3 ms and a long TE = 6.75 ms for different values of the slice encoding gradient (i.e., different kz values). Shorter echo time (TE = 5.3 msec) was used at higher spatial slice select frequencies, but all echoes have the same gradient structures. By keeping the number of slice encoding steps with longer echoes to a minimum, field inhomogeneity effects on flow compensation remained small. A magnetization transfer saturation pulse was used to suppress signal of brain parenchyma. Overall, highly uniform and selective fat signal reduction was obtained while maintaining superior flow compensation in all volunteer studies.
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