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Magn Reson Imaging. 1988 Jul-Aug;6(4):355-68.

Fast Field Echo imaging: an overview and contrast calculations.

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Philips Medical Systems, Best, The Netherlands.


Current fast imaging techniques are based on gradient echo sequences with reduced flip angle excitation pulses and very short repetition times TR. Practical T2 values may be of the order of TR or longer. In this situation, a different image contrast can be obtained, depending on details of the sequence. Four essentially different versions of the basic Fast Field Echo (FFE) sequence can be distinguished and are described systematically in this article. For these sequences, image contrast formulas are presented. Practical imaging should tolerate small field inhomogeneities. This requirement can be satisfied by only three of the four versions. Numerical simulations are used to study the influence of a modified phase alternation scheme on image contrasts of two of the remaining sequences. The results of the calculations are verified by phantom studies on a 1.5-T whole-body imager. Implications for contrast in clinical images are discussed in relation to head images obtained on the same machine.

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