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Abstract #3452

Analysis of signal and contrast in a multi-echo gradient-echo sequence of the lumbosacral cord: recommendations for number of echoes and averages

Silvan B├╝eler1, Patrick Freund2,3,4,5, Martina Liechti1, and Gergely David1,2
1Department of Neuro-Urology, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 3Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom, 4Department of Neurophysics, , Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 5Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom

In this study, we aimed to provide recommendations on the number of echoes and averages when imaging the lumbosacral spinal cord using a multi-echo gradient-echo sequence. We found that while more echoes increase the white matter/cerebrospinal fluid contrast, the gray matter/white matter contrast plateaus at 3 echoes. Also, the signal and contrast-to-noise ratios increased only minimally after 6 averages. Overall, we recommend a minimum of 3 and maximum of 4 echoes as an optimal trade-off between segmentability and artifact level, and 6 signal averages (or measurements) for robust segmentations.

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