Rapid MR imaging of blood flow with a phase-sensitive, limited-flip-angle, gradient recalled pulse sequence: preliminary experience.
To assess blood flow rapidly, a limited-flip-angle, gradient recalled pulse sequence was modified to acquire two views at the same phase-encoding step in successive repetitions. One view is obtained with first-moment flow compensation, while the second view is obtained with selectable flow encoding (non-zero first moment) along one direction. Blood flowing along the encoded direction acquires a phase difference between the two views, resulting in signal dependent on both direction and speed of flow. Stationary tissues undergo no phase change. Therefore, the phase shift between the two views produces an image that spatially renders flow direction and velocity. With a 24-msec repetition time, a 256 X 128 matrix, and two excitations, data acquisition is completed in 13 seconds per location (both a magnitude image and a flow image are produced at each location). Images generated with flow phantoms confirmed the accuracy of this method. Preliminary clinical evidence in 23 human subjects suggests that this method is useful in evaluating portal hypertension, distinguishing arterial from venous flow, distinguishing between slow flow and clot, and confirming the presence of clot. This method appears to be a fast, easy way to assess blood flow in large vessels.
Spritzer, CE; Pelc, NJ; Lee, JN; Evans, AJ; Sostman, HD; Riederer, SJ
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