Chunlei Liu1, 2, Wei Li1, Peder Larson3
1Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States; 2Department of Radiology, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States; 3Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, United States
Susceptibility contrast of the brain is generally obtained at long echo times. At such long TE, the short-T2 components are largely attenuated and contribute minimally to phase contrast. We show that strong phase contrast of the brain can be generated at ultra-short TE (64 micro seconds) by off-resonance saturation. Our data suggest that the saturated short-T2 components of white matter have negative frequency shift. Off-resonance saturation together with UTE offers a new way to generate phase contrast and to probe tissue microstructure. UTE provides the advantage of high efficiency, high SNR and minimal susceptibility-induced distortion while saturation enhances contrast.