Gradient Echo Plural Contrast Imaging (GEPCI) is a post processing technique that, based on a widely available multiple gradient echo sequence, allows simultaneous generation of naturally co-registered images with various contrasts: T1 weighted, R2* = 1/T2* maps and frequency (f) maps. Herein, we present results demonstrating the capability of GEPCI technique to generate image sets with additional contrast characteristics obtained by combing the information from these three basic contrast maps. Specifically, we report its ability to generate GEPCI-susceptibility weighted images (GEPCI-SWI) with improved SWI contrast that is free of T1 weighting and RF inhomogeneities; GEPCI-SWI-like images with the contrast similar to original SWI; T1f images that offer superior GM/WM matter contrast obtained by combining the GEPCI T1 and frequency map data; Fluid Suppressed T2* (FST2*) images that utilize GEPCI T1 data to suppress CSF signal in T2* maps and provide contrast similar to FLAIR T2 weighted images; and T2*-SWI images that combine SWI contrast with quantitative T2* map and offer advantages of visualizing venous structure with hyperintense T2* lesions (e.g. MS lesions). To analyze GEPCI images we use an improved algorithm for combining data from multi-channel RF coils and a method for unwrapping phase/frequency maps that takes advantage of the information on phase evolution as a function of gradient echo time in GEPCI echo train.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Dr. Joseph Ackerman for helpful discussion, volunteers for their time, Mark Nolte, Scott Love, and Glenn Foster for helping with MRI scanning. This publication was supported by NIH grants R01 NS055963 , UL1 RR024992 , U.S. Department of Defense MS090031 , and Imaging Sciences Pathway fellowship funded by NIH grant 5T90 DA022781 .
Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Multi-channel coil
- Multi-contrast MRI
- Phase unwrapping