Diffusion-weighted MR microscopy with fast spin-echo.
A diffusion-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) imaging sequence for high-field MR microscopy was developed and experimentally validated in a phantom and in a live rat. Pulsed diffusion gradients were executed before and after the initial 180 degrees pulse in the FSE pulse train. This produced diffusion-related reductions in image signal intensity corresponding to gradient ("b") factors between 1.80 and 1352 s/mm2. The degree of diffusion weighting was demonstrated to be independent of echo train length for experiments using trains up to 16 echoes long. Quantitative measurements on a phantom and on a live rat produced diffusion coefficients consistent with literature values. Importantly, the eight- to 16-fold increase in imaging efficiency with FSE was not accompanied by a significant loss of spatial resolution or contrast. This permits acquisition of in vivo three-dimensional data in time periods that are appropriate for evolving biological processes. The combination of accurate diffusion weighting and high spatial resolution provided by FSE makes the technique particularly useful for MR microscopy.
Beaulieu, CF; Zhou, X; Cofer, GP; Johnson, GA
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