In clinical magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, the diagnostic quality of examinations is often degraded by streaklike flow artifacts that obscure anatomic details and reduce contrast. In addition, vascular structures are often not depicted clearly because the desired flow voids are obliterated by spurious intraluminal signals. On the basis of analysis of the physical mechanism of flow artifact formation, the authors developed a new technique for suppressing these artifacts. This applies interleaved, spectrally shaped radio frequency pulses to selectively saturate spins located in regions outside the image volume. In phantom, volunteer, and clinical imaging studies, the technique has proved to be effective by yielding a striking reduction in flow artifacts and markedly improving the reliability with which arterial and venous structures are imaged. The method has few drawbacks: It is applicable to most MR pulse sequences and, in principle, can be implemented on most imagers. It is particularly helpful for high-resolution surface coil studies of the neck, mediastinal imaging, gated cardiac imaging, and for detecting thrombus and other intravascular lesions such as dissections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging