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 'Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence' 
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Ultrafast Gradient Echo SequenceInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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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).
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Fast Spoiled Gradient EchoInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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(FSPGR) A sequence similar to TurboFLASH or Turbo Field Echo.
See also Spoiled Gradient Echo Sequence and Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence.

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3-D VOLUMETRIC IMAGING FOR STEREOTACTIC LESIONAL AND DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION SURGERY
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Gradient Echo SequenceForum -
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Gradient Echo Sequence Timing Diagram (GRE - sequence) A gradient echo is generated by using a pair of bipolar gradient pulses. In the pulse sequence timing diagram, the basic gradient echo sequence is illustrated. There is no refocusing 180 pulse and the data are sampled during a gradient echo, which is achieved by dephasing the spins with a negatively pulsed gradient before they are rephased by an opposite gradient with opposite polarity to generate the echo.
See also the Pulse Sequence Timing Diagram. There you will find a description of the components.
The excitation pulse is termed the alpha pulse a. It tilts the magnetization by a flip angle a, which is typically between 0 and 90. With a small flip angle there is a reduction in the value of transverse magnetization that will affect subsequent RF pulses. The flip angle can also be slowly increased during data acquisition (variable flip angle: tilt optimized nonsaturation excitation). The data are not acquired in a steady state, where z-magnetization recovery and destruction by ad-pulses are balanced. However, the z-magnetization is used up by tilting a little more of the remaining z-magnetization into the xy-plane for each acquired imaging line.
Gradient echo imaging is typically accomplished by examining the FID, whereas the read gradient is turned on for localization of the signal in the readout direction. T2* is the characteristic decay time constant associated with the FID. The contrast and signal generated by a gradient echo depend on the size of the longitudinal magnetization and the flip angle. When a = 90 the sequence is identical to the so-called partial saturation or saturation recovery pulse sequence. In standard GRE imaging, this basic pulse sequence is repeated as many times as image lines have to be acquired. Additional gradients or radio frequency pulses are introduced with the aim to spoil to refocus the xy-magnetization at the moment when the spin system is subject to the next a pulse.
As a result of the short repetition time, the z-magnetization cannot fully recover and after a few initial a pulses there is an equilibrium established between z-magnetization recovery and z-magnetization reduction due to the a pulses.
Gradient echoes have a lower SAR, are more sensitive to field inhomogeneities and have a reduced crosstalk, so that a small or no slice gap can be used. In or out of phase imaging depending on the selected TE (and field strength of the magnet) is possible. As the flip angle is decreased, T1 weighting can be maintained by reducing the TR. T2* weighting can be minimized by keeping the TE as short as possible, but pure T2 weighting is not possible. By using a reduced flip angle, some of the magnetization value remains longitudinal (less time needed to achieve full recovery) and for a certain T1 and TR, there exist one flip angle that will give the most signal, known as the "Ernst angle".
Contrast values:
PD weighted: Small flip angle (no T1), long TR (no T1) and short TE (no T2*)
T1 weighted: Large flip angle (70), short TR (less than 50ms) and short TE
T2* weighted: Small flip angle, some longer TR (100 ms) and long TE (20 ms)

Classification of GRE sequences can be made into four categories:
T1 weighted or incoherent/(RF or gradient) spoiled GRE sequences
T1/T2* weighted or coherent//refocused GRE sequences
T2 weighted contrast enhanced GRE sequences
ultrafast GRE sequences
See also Gradient Recalled Echo Sequence, Spoiled Gradient Echo Sequence, Refocused Gradient Echo Sequence, Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence.
 
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Further Reading:
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Enhanced Fast GRadient Echo 3-Dimensional (efgre3D) or THRIVE
   by www.mri.tju.edu    
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T1rho-prepared balanced gradient echo for rapid 3D T1rho MRI
Monday, 1 September 2008   by www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov    
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Multiple Echo Single ShotInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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(MESS) See Multiple Echo Imaging, Single Shot Technique and Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence.
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PRinciples of Echo Shifting using a Train of ObservationsInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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(PRESTO) PRESTO is a 3 dimensional ultrafast gradient echo sequence that combines the whole brain coverage with T2* weighted imaging. PRESTO is useful for BOLD and perfusion imaging studies. In combination with parallel imaging techniques, PRESTO provides higher temporal resolution and more coverage compared to traditional multi slice imaging. In addition, the sensitivity to susceptibility artifacts and flow phenomena is reduced, compared with EPI techniques, enabling MRI scans throughout the brain including the skull base.
See also T2 Star.
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