Flow-Independent Angiography of the Hand with 3D Balanced SSFP Imaging
Cukur T, DiCarlo J, Bangerter N, Hargreaves B, Nishimura D
Balanced steady-state free-precession imaging is an excellent candidate for flow-independent angiography when combined with magnetization preparation. However, high signal from fat and off-resonance caused by air-tissue interfaces can degrade vessel visualization. Phase-sensitive fat-water separation is fast and efficient, but fails in the presence of susceptibility variations at air-tissue interfaces. In this work, we use a susceptibility-matching material covering the hand in order to reduce susceptibility variations, and dramatically improve image quality. Optional inversion-recovery and T2-prep pulses further improve contrast between arterial blood and synovial fluid or muscle respectively. High-resolution angiograms with great small-vessel depiction can be acquired within a few minutes.