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Magn Reson Med. 2018 Apr;79(4):1870-1881. doi: 10.1002/mrm.26833. Epub 2017 Jul 16.

Spinal cord imaging using averaged magnetization inversion recovery acquisitions.

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Department of Radiology, Division of Radiological Physics, University of Basel Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.



To establish a novel approach for fast high-resolution spinal cord (SC) imaging using averaged magnetization inversion recovery acquisitions (AMIRA).


The AMIRA concept is based on an inversion recovery (IR) prepared, segmented, and time-limited cine balanced steady state free precession sequence. Typically, for the fastest SC imaging without any signal averaging, eight consecutive images in time with an in-plane resolution of 0.67 × 0.67 mm2 and 6 mm to 8 mm slice thickness are acquired in 51 s. AMIRA does not require parallel acquisition techniques.


AMIRA measures eight images of remarkable tissue contrast variation between spinal cord gray (GM) and white matter (WM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Following the AMIRA concept, averaging the first IR contrast images not only improves the signal-to-noise ratio but also offers a surprising enhancement of the contrast-to-noise ratio between GM and WM, whereas averaging the last images considerably improves the contrast-to-noise ratio between WM and CSF. These observations are supported by quantitative data.


The AMIRA concept provides 2D spinal cord imaging with multiple tissue contrasts and enhanced contrast-to-noise ratios with a typical 0.67 × 0.67 mm2 in-plane resolution and a slice thickness between 4 mm and 8 mm acquired in only 1 to 2 min per slice. Magn Reson Med 79:1870-1881, 2018. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.


balanced SSFP; cervical spinal cord; inversion recovery; magnetic resonance imaging; transient phase

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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