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Abstract #0448

Wide-Band Steady State Free Precession with Small Diffusion Gradients for Spine Imaging: Application to Superior Nerve Visualization

Ehud J. Schmidt1, Ajit Shankaranarayanan2, Sylvain Jaume, 1,3, Giovanna Danagoulian1, Srinivasan Jr. Mukundan1, Krishna S. Nayak4

1Radiology, Brigham and Womens Hospital, Boston, MA, United States; 2GE Healthcare Applied Science Lab, Menlo Park, CA, United States; 3Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States; 4Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California

3D High-resolution Wide-band Steady State Free Precession (WBSSFP) is utilized to track nerves as they exit the spinal cord. By placing the readout direction in the Superior-Inferior direction, small diffusional effects (B=40-60 s/mm2) contribute to improved contrast between Cerebro-spinal-fluid or Fat and the nerves, and remove vessel signal. In six patients with degenerative spine disease, WBSSFP aided in the diagnosis of back-pain sources, by detecting impingement on the nerves outside the spinal dura, not easily detected with conventional T2-,T1- or T2*-weighted sequences.