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Abstract #0402

Non-Contrast-Enhanced 4D Intracranial MR Angiography: Optimizations Using a Variable Flip Angle Approach

Peter Schmitt1, Peter Speier1, Xiaoming Bi2, Peter Weale2, Edgar Mueller1

1MR Application & Workflow Development, Siemens AG, Healthcare Sector, Erlangen, Germany; 2Cardiovascular MR R&D, Siemens Healthcare, Chicago, IL, United States

A novel concept is presented to optimize a FAIR-type spin-labeling technique for non-contrast-enhanced 4D intracranial MR angiography, which is based on an ECG-triggered CINE-like b-SSFP acquisition of multiple 3D phases after selective and non-selective inversion, respectively. Based on numerical Bloch simulations and a volunteer study, it is shown that a variable flip angle scheme, with the flip angle continuously increasing from lower to higher values, results in a significantly longer persistence of the spin labeling. This in turn leads to an improved visualization of late-filling vasculature if compared to the standard approach with constant flip angle.