Flow Independent Angiography at 3.0T with Dual-Acquisition Balanced SSFP and Multi-Echo IDEAL
Hargreaves B, Brittain J, Shimakawa A, Reeder S, Yu H
Balanced SSFP imaging provides 3D imaging with excellent angiographic contrast, particularly at 3.0T. Two major challenges to this application are fat/water separation and the well known dark signal bands due to field and susceptibility variations. We present a dual-acquisition balanced SSFP technique that combines RF phase cycling with multi-echo IDEAL fat/water separation to simultaneously address both of these challenges with reasonable scan times. Using longer repetition times improves arterial-venous separation, SNR efficiency and spatial resolution while reducing the RF absorption limitations. Flow independent angiograms of the lower leg can be obtained in several minutes without a contrast agent.