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Ultrafast Gradient Echo SequenceInfoSheet: - Sequences -
Intro, Overview, 
Types of, 
etc.MRI Resource Directory:
 - Sequences -
Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence Timing Diagram In simple ultrafast GRE imaging, TR and TE are so short, that tissues have a poor imaging signal and — more importantly — poor contrast except when contrast media enhanced (contrast enhanced angiography). Therefore, the magnetization is 'prepared' during the preparation module, most frequently by an initial 180° inversion pulse.
In the pulse sequence timing diagram, the basic ultrafast gradient echo sequence is illustrated. The 180° inversion pulse is executed one time (to the left of the vertical line), the right side represents the data collection period and is often repeated depending on the acquisition parameters.
See also Pulse Sequence Timing Diagram, there you will find a description of the components.
Ultrafast GRE sequences have a short TR,TE, a low flip angle and TR is so short that image acquisition lasts less than 1 second and typically less than 500 ms. Common TR: 3-5 msec, TE: 2 msec, and the flip angle is about 5°. Such sequences are often labeled with the prefix 'Turbo' like TurboFLASH, TurboFFE and TurboGRASS.
This allows one to center the subsequent ultrafast GRE data acquisition around the inversion time TI, where one of the tissues of interest has very little signal as its z-magnetization is passing through zero.
Unlike a standard inversion recovery (IR) sequence, all lines or a substantial segment of k-space image lines are acquired after a single inversion pulse, which can then together be considered as readout module. The readout module may use a variable flip angle approach, or the data acquisition may be divided into multiple segments (shots). The latter is useful particularly in cardiac imaging where acquiring all lines in a single segment may take too long relative to the cardiac cycle to provide adequate temporal resolution.
If multiple lines are acquired after a single pulse, the pulse sequence is a type of gradient echo echo planar imaging (EPI) pulse sequence.
See also Magnetization Prepared Rapid Gradient Echo (MPRAGE) and Turbo Field Echo (TFE).

• View the DATABASE results for 'Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence' (13).Open this link in a new window

Ultrashort Turbo Spin EchoInfoSheet: - Sequences -
Intro, Overview, 
Types of, 
etc.MRI Resource Directory:
 - Sequences -
(UTSE) The ultrashort turbo spin echo (TSE / FSE) sequence is a technique with extremely short echo spacing, resulting in shorter scan times. This is an advantage in areas where motion is a problem, for example dynamic or abdominal imaging. The shorter scan time and echo spacing are achieved by using a higher TSE factor and an increased data sampling rate.
Disadvantages are the decrease in SNR (caused through the increase of the bandwidth) and artifacts if minimum echo spacing is used (incomplete dephasing of the 180° pulse FID).
See also Fast Spin Echo.
Further Reading:
  News & More:
Ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI of the spine in thalassaemia
February 2004   by    
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Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron OxideInfoSheet: - Contrast Agents - 
Intro, Overview, 
Types of, 
(USPIO) The class of the ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide includes several chemically and pharmacologically very distinct materials, which may or may not be interchangeable for a specific use. Some ultrasmall SPIO particles (median diameter less than 50nm) are used as MRI contrast agents (Sinerem®, Combidex®, Clariscan™), e.g. to differentiate metastatic from inflammatory lymph nodes. USPIO shows also potential for providing important information about angiogenesis in cancer tumors and could possibly complement MRI helping physicians to identify dangerous arteriosclerosis plaques.
Because of the disadvantageous large T2*//T1 ratio, USPIO compounds are less suitable for arterial bolus contrast enhanced magnetic resonance angiography than gadolinium complexes. The tiny ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxides do not accumulate in the RES system as fast as larger particles, which results in a long plasma half-life. USPIO particles, with a small median diameter (less than 10 nm), will accumulate in lymph nodes after an intravenous injection by e.g. direct transcapillary passage through endothelial venules. Once within the nodal parenchyma, phagocytic cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system take up the particles.
As a second way, USPIOs are subsequently taken up from then interstitium by lymphatic vessels and transported to regional lymph nodes. A lymph node with normal phagocytic function takes up a considerable amount and shows a reduction of the signal intensity caused by T2 shortening effects and magnetic susceptibility. Caused by the small uptake of the USPIOs in metastatic lymph nodes, they appear with less signal reduction, and permit the differentiation of healthy lymph nodes from normal-sized, metastatic nodes.
See also Superparamagnetic Contrast Agents, Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide, Very Small Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Particles, Blood Pool Agents, Intracellular Contrast Agents.

• View the NEWS results for 'Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide' (2).Open this link in a new window.

• View the DATABASE results for 'Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide' (16).Open this link in a new window

Further Reading:
Comparison of Two Superparamagnetic Viral-Sized Iron Oxide Particles Ferumoxides and Ferumoxtran-10 with a Gadolinium Chelate in Imaging Intracranial Tumors
2002   by    
  News & More:
Optimized Labelling of Human Monocytes with Iron Oxide MR Contrast Agents
Sunday, 30 November 2003   by    
Ultra™InfoSheet: - Devices -
Types of Magnets, 
Overview, etc.MRI Resource Directory:
 - Devices - From Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc.;
the Ultra™ system was developed to help healthcare providers be more competitive by delivering greater patient comfort and a broad range of clinical capabilities, says Anita Bowler, product manager, MRI Business Unit, Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc With its unique, powerful gradient technology, the Ultra™ performs advanced clinical studies and consistently provides high-resolution images that are typically associated with high field MRI systems. At the same time, the Ultra™ offers a truly open feeling that makes patients more relaxed, especially those with claustrophobic tendencies.

Device Information and Specification
SURFACE COILS Quadrature, solenoid and multi-channel configurations
PULSE SEQUENCES SE, FE, IR, FastSE, FastIR, FastFLAIR, Fast STIR, FastFE, FASE, Hybrid EPI, Multi Shot EPI, Single shot EPI diffusion, True SSFP, SuperFASE; Angiography: 2D(gate/non-gate)/3D TOF, SORS-STC, Black Blood MRA
MAGNET TYPE Superconducting
POWER REQUIREMENTS 380/400/415/440/480 V
SHIMMING Passive, active
Undersampling is the decrease in data to increase image acquisition speed (shorter scan times without loss of quality - increased productivity - reduced cost of equipment). There are different strategies to decrease data without losing quality (e.g. reduction of the FOV in one or more spatial directions - RFOV).
Reduction in data normally is associated with an increase in aliasing (degradation of the SNR through backfolding of the entire noise spectrum), or with other artifact caused by missing data, which results in fine lines.

• View the DATABASE results for 'Undersampling' (6).Open this link in a new window

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