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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Aug;32(2):399-408. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22272.

3D flow-independent peripheral vessel wall imaging using T(2)-prepared phase-sensitive inversion-recovery steady-state free precession.

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Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



To develop a 3D flow-independent peripheral vessel wall imaging method using T(2)-prepared phase-sensitive inversion-recovery (T(2)PSIR) steady-state free precession (SSFP).


A 3D T(2)-prepared and nonselective inversion-recovery SSFP sequence was designed to achieve flow-independent blood suppression for vessel wall imaging based on T(1) and T(2) properties of the vessel wall and blood. To maximize image contrast and reduce its dependence on the inversion time (TI), phase-sensitive reconstruction was used to restore the true signal difference between vessel wall and blood. The feasibility of this technique for peripheral artery wall imaging was tested in 13 healthy subjects. Image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), wall/lumen contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and scan efficiency were compared between this technique and conventional 2D double inversion recovery - turbo spin echo (DIR-TSE) in eight subjects.


3D T(2)PSIR SSFP provided more efficient data acquisition (32 slices and 64 mm in 4 minutes, 7.5 seconds per slice) than 2D DIR-TSE (2-3 minutes per slice). SNR of the vessel wall and CNR between vessel wall and lumen were significantly increased as compared to those of DIR-TSE (P < 0.001). Vessel wall and lumen areas of the two techniques are strongly correlated (intraclass correlation coefficients: 0.975 and 0.937, respectively; P < 0.001 for both). The lumen area of T(2)PSIR SSFP is slightly larger than that of DIR-TSE (P = 0.008). The difference in vessel wall area between the two techniques is not statistically significant.


T(2)PSIR SSFP is a promising technique for peripheral vessel wall imaging. It provides excellent blood signal suppression and vessel wall/lumen contrast. It can cover a 3D volume efficiently and is flow- and TI-independent.

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