Francisco Manuel Martinez-Santiesteban1, Emeline J. Ribot1, Paula J. Foster1, Brian K. Rutt2
1Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; 2Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, United States
We present a method that combines the high efficiency of a bSSFP pulse sequence with the image enhancement of susceptibility changes obtained with Susceptibility Weighted Imaging to improve the detection of iron-loaded cells. Benefits of both techniques are achieved with a bSSFP Echo Time larger than the conventional TR/2, increasing the information contained on the phase images. Using the proposed technique, we are able to detect more iron-loaded cells than with bSSFP alone, and the mean fractional signal loss of the detected cells is increased by approximately 20%, improving their visibility and quantification.