Double delay alternating with nutation for tailored excitation facilitates banding-free isotropic high-resolution intracranial vessel wall imaging

Bram F Coolen, Jasper Schoormans, Guillaume Gilbert, Ernst S Kooreman, Naomi de Winter, Olivia Viessmann, Jaco J M Zwanenburg, Charles B L M Majoie, Gustav J Strijkers, Aart J Nederveen, Jeroen C W Siero

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a double delay alternating with nutation for tailored excitation (D-DANTE)-prepared sequence for banding-free isotropic high-resolution intracranial vessel wall imaging (IC-VWI) and to compare its performance with regular DANTE in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as well as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood suppression efficiency. To this end, a D-DANTE-prepared 3D turbo spin echo sequence was implemented by interleaving two separate DANTE pulse trains with different RF phase-cycling schemes, but keeping all other DANTE parameters unchanged, including the total number of pulses and total preparation time. This achieved a reduction of the banding distance compared with regular DANTE enabling banding-free imaging up to higher resolutions. Bloch simulations assuming static vessel wall and flowing CSF spins were performed to compare DANTE and D-DANTE in terms of SNR and vessel wall/CSF contrast. Similar image quality measures were assessed from measurements on 13 healthy middle-aged volunteers. Both simulation and in vivo results showed that D-DANTE had only slightly lower vessel wall/CSF and vessel wall/blood contrast-to-noise ratio values compared with regular DANTE, which originated from a 10%-15% reduction in vessel wall SNR but not from reduced CSF or blood suppression efficiency. As anticipated, IC-VWI acquisitions showed that D-DANTE can successfully remove banding artifacts compared with regular DANTE with equal scan time or DANTE preparation length. Moreover, application was demonstrated in a patient with an intracranial aneurysm, indicating improved robustness to slow flow artifacts compared with clinically available 3D turbo spin echo scans. In conclusion, D-DANTE provides banding artifact-free IC-VWI up to higher isotropic resolutions compared with regular DANTE. This allows for a more flexible choice of DANTE preparation parameters in high-resolution IC-VWI protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e4567
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 02 Jun 2021

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