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Eur Radiol. 2002 Dec;12(12):2866-82. Epub 2002 Jun 28.

Fast and ultrafast non-echo-planar MR imaging techniques.

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  • Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Regensburg, Germany. wolfgang.nitz@siemens.com


The topic fast and ultrafast MR imaging commonly includes relatively slow gradient-echo techniques with spoiled transverse magnetization (FLASH, FFE-T1, SPGR), gradient-echo techniques with partially refocused transverse magnetization (FISP, FFE, GRASS), gradient-echo techniques with fully refocused transverse magnetization (trueFISP, balanced FFE, FIESTA), the multi-echo spin-echo techniques (RARE, TSE, FSE), a mixture of multi-echo spin-echo and gradient-echo techniques (GRASE, TGSE), and finally single-shot techniques (HASTE, SS-FSE, EPI). This article gives a description of the sequence structures of non-echo-planar fast imaging techniques and a list of potential clinical applications. Recent advances in faster imaging which are not sequence related, such as simultaneous acquisitions of spatial harmonics (SMASH) and sensitivity encoding (SENSE) for fast MRI, are mentioned as well as some novel techniques such as QUEST and BURST. Due to the recent success with gradient-echo techniques with fully refocused transverse magnetization (trueFISP, balanced FFE, FIESTA), this "faster" gradient-echo technique is discussed in more detail followed by multi-echo spin-echo techniques that present the counterpart to the multi-echo gradient-echo (EPI) technique, which is not discussed in this paper. Three major areas appear to be the domain for EPI: diffusion; perfusion; and blood oxygenation level dependent imaging (BOLD, fMRI). For all other applications there is ample room for utilizing other fast and ultrafast imaging techniques, due to some intrinsic problems with EPI.

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