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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Sep;32(3):745-51. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22282.

T(2)-weighted 3D fast spin echo imaging with water-fat separation in a single acquisition.

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  • 1Applied Science Lab, GE Healthcare, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To develop a robust 3D fast spin echo (FSE) T(2)-weighted imaging method with uniform water and fat separation in a single acquisition, amenable to high-quality multiplanar reformations.


The Iterative Decomposition of water and fat with Echo Asymmetry and Least squares estimation (IDEAL) method was integrated with modulated refocusing flip angle 3D-FSE. Echoes required for IDEAL processing were acquired by shifting the readout gradient with respect to the Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill echo. To reduce the scan time, an alternative data acquisition using two gradient echoes per repetition was implemented. Using the latter approach, a total of four gradient echoes were acquired in two repetitions and used in the modified IDEAL reconstruction.


3D-FSE T(2)-weighted images with uniform water-fat separation were successfully acquired in various anatomies including breast, abdomen, knee, and ankle in clinically feasible scan times, ranging from 5:30-8:30 minutes. Using water-only and fat-only images, in-phase and out-of-phase images were reconstructed.


3D-FSE-IDEAL provides volumetric T(2)-weighted images with uniform water and fat separation in a single acquisition. High-resolution images with multiple contrasts can be reformatted to any orientation from a single acquisition. This could potentially replace 2D-FSE acquisitions with and without fat suppression and in multiple planes, thus improving overall imaging efficiency.

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