Nevin McVicar1,2, Alex Li2, Adrienne Campbell3, Marty Klassen2, Rob Bartha1,2
1Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada; 2Centre for Functional & Metabolic Mapping, Robarts Research Institute; 3Division of Medicine & Institute of Child Health, UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, London, United Kingdom
A computational model of magnetic resonance imaging was developed that simulates the MR imaging of PARAmagnetic CEST (PARACEST) contrast agents using Echo-Planar Imaging (EPI) pulse sequences. The EPI PARACEST model simulated the imaging of a theoretical phantom containing 10 mM Eu3+DOTAM-Gly-Phe. Using MATLAB, the model is used to strategically vary specific imaging parameters in order to optimize contrast to noise (CNR) efficiency. Several simulation experiments are presented with CNR efficiency displaying a clear dependence on the number of k-space segments, excitation flip angles, and CEST saturation pulse durations. Computational modeling provides insight into the dependence on specific imaging parameters.