Flow-related artifacts remain a significant concern for magnetic resonance (MR) angiography because their appearance in angiograms adversely impacts accuracy in evaluation of arterial stenoses. In this paper, a half-pulse excitation scheme for improved two-dimensional time-of-flight (2D TOF) angiography is described. The proposed method eliminates the need for gradient moment nulling (of all orders), providing significant reductions in spin dephasing and consequent artifactual signal loss. Furthermore, because the post-excitation refocusing and flow compensation gradients are obviated, the achievable echo time is dramatically shortened. The half-pulse excitation is employed in conjunction with a fast radial-line acquisition, allowing ultra-short echo times on the order of 250-300 microsec. Radial-line acquisition methods also provide additional benefits for flow imaging: effective mitigation of pulsatile flow artifacts, full k-space coverage, and decreased scan times. The half-pulse excitation/radial-line sequence demonstrated improved performance in initial clinical evaluations of the carotid bifurcation when compared with a conventional 2D TOF sequence.
View details for Web of Science ID 000079317800023
View details for PubMedID 10204884