Improved contrast at 1.5 Tesla using half-Fourier imaging: Application to spin-echo and angiographic imaging
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Half-Fourier imaging is useful for reducing imaging time by requiring less than the usual number of phase-encoding steps. This increase in speed can be traded off for longer repeat times, TR, for improved contrast-to-noise in the same imaging time or to collect short asymmetric echoes. Consequently, it is shown to be especially useful for long TR spin-echo imaging where at 1.5 T a repeat time of 4 sec is recommended for a double-echo TE = 30/90 sequence or 3 sec for a double-echo TE = 15/90 sequence. Short TR FLASH imaging also benefits from a longer TR since there is more time to spoil the signal. In both cases, there is the advantage when a multislice acquisition mode is used that more slices (and hence, a larger volume) can be taken. Another application is to apply half-Fourier imaging in the read direction to avoid spin dephasing and motion artifacts. This is particularly useful in angiographic imaging where smaller pixel sizes and shorter echo times both reduce pixel dephasing. Again, even though taking less than the usual number of data points leads to a reduction in S/N, the improved signal and resolution for blood vessels can more than compensate this loss.
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