Date: 13 Mar 2007

Selective 3D ultrashort TE imaging: comparison of “dual-echo” acquisition and magnetization preparation for improving short-T 2 contrast

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The objective of this study was to compare two different schemes for long-T 2 component suppression in ultrashort echo-time (UTE) imaging. The aim was to increase conspicuity of short-T 2 components accessible by the UTE technique.

Materials and methods

A “dual-echo” and a magnetization-preparation approach for long-T 2 and fat suppression were implemented on clinical scanners. Both techniques were compared in 3D UTE exams on healthy volunteers regarding short-T 2 Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), long-T 2 suppression quality, and scan efficiency. A quantitative SNR evaluation was performed using ankle scans of six volunteers. T 2 suppression profiles were simulated for both approaches to facilitate interpretation of the observations.


At 1.5 T, both techniques perform equally well in suppressing long-T 2 components and fat. Magnetization preparation requires more shimming effort due to the use of narrow-band pulses, while the “dual-echo” technique requires a post-processing step to form a subtraction image. For scans with a short repetition time (TR), the “dual-echo” approach is much faster than the magnetization preparation, which depends on slow T 1 recovery between preparation steps. The SNR comparison shows slightly higher short-T 2 SNR for the “dual-echo” approach. At 3.0 T, magnetization preparation becomes more challenging due to stronger off-resonance effects.


Both techniques are well suited for long-T 2 suppression and offer comparable short-T 2 SNR. However, the “dual-echo” approach has strong advantages in terms of scan efficiency and off-resonance behavior.