A novel 3D breath-held Dixon fat-water separated balanced steady state free precession (b-SSFP) sequence for MR cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is described and its potential clinical utility assessed in a series of patients. The main motivation is to develop a robust breath-held alternative to the respiratory gated 3D Fast Spin Echo (FSE) sequence, the current clinical sequence of choice for MRCP. Respiratory gated acquisitions are susceptible to motion artifacts and blurring in patients with significant diaphragmatic drift, erratic respiratory rhythms or sleep apnea. A two point Dixon fat-water separation scheme was developed which eliminates signal loss arising from B0 inhomogeneity effects and minimizes artifacts from perturbation of the b-SSFP steady state. Preliminary results from qualitative analysis of 49 patients demonstrate robust performance of the 3D Dixon b-SSFP sequence with diagnostic image quality acquired in a 20-24s breath-hold.
- Steady state free precession
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging