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Abstract #4577

Improved Visualization of the Subthalamic Nuclei by Reducing Susceptibility Induced Signal Losses in T2* Weighted Multi-Gradient-Echo Images

Steffen Volz1, Elke Hattingen2, Christine Preibisch1,3, Thomas Gasser4, Ralf Deichmann1

1Brain Imaging Center, University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany; 2Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital, Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany; 3Abteilung fr Neuroradiologie, Klinkum rechts der Isar der TU Mnchen, Mnchen, Germany; 4Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany

T2*-weighted gradient echo images yield good contrast of iron-rich brain structures. However, they are also sensitive to macroscopic field inhomogeneities, limiting anatomical information from affected areas. An image postprocessing method based on the evaluation of phase information is presented. A pixelwise image intensity correction of the original images acquired at different TE is performed in a first step and a combination of these images using optimized weighting factors is performed in a second step. The resulting images feature reduced signal losses in areas with major field gradients, while a contrast-to-noise (CNR) analysis in deep brain structures demonstrates good contrast.