Structural imaging of the cervical spinal cord with suppressed CSF signal using DANTE pulse trains.
Li L., Kong Y., Zaitsu Y., Matthews L., Palace J., Jezzard P.
PURPOSE: We propose DANTE (Delays Alternating with Nutation for Tailored Excitation) moving fluid attenuation preparation pulse trains, in conjunction with T1 , T2 , and proton-density-weighted fast spin-echo (T1w-TSE, T2w-TSE and PDw-TSE) imaging readout, and three-dimensional fast low flip angle shots (3D-FLASH) T1 -weighted imaging readout to achieve CSF-suppressed high-spatial resolution multicontrast cervical spinal cord images. METHODS: DANTE pulse trains, consisting of a rapid series of low flip angle radiofrequency pulses interspersed with gradients, were used to substantially attenuate the longitudinal magnetization of flowing spins relative to static tissue/fluid, whose longitudinal magnetization is mostly preserved. We hypothesized that the contrast between spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could be maximized due to moving CSF signal suppression. RESULTS: We demonstrate that metrics of contrast-to-noise ratio between spinal cord, nerve root, and CSF regions (CNRcord-CSF and CNRnerve-CSF ) are improved by at least a factor of 2 when compared with images acquired with non-prepared approaches and with 2D multiple-echo data image combination (MEDIC) imaging. In addition, we find that sagittal image quality can be significantly improved due to flow suppression effects from the DANTE preparation pluses. CONCLUSION: DANTE prepared imaging techniques for moving CSF signal attenuation are promising tools for cervical spinal cord imaging.