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Mapping of low flip angles in magnetic resonance.

Abstract : Errors in the flip angle have to be corrected in many magnetic resonance imaging applications, especially for T1 quantification. However, the existing methods of B1 mapping fail to measure lower values of the flip angle despite the fact that these are extensively used in dynamic acquisition and 3D imaging. In this study, the nonlinearity of the radiofrequency (RF) transmit chain, especially for very low flip angles, is investigated and a simple method is proposed to accurately determine both the gain of the RF transmitter and the B1 field map for low flip angles. The method makes use of the spoiled gradient echo sequence with long repetition time (TR), such as applied in the double-angle method. It uses an image acquired with a flip angle of 90° as a reference image that is robust to B1 inhomogeneity. The ratio of the image at flip angle alpha to the image at a flip angle of 90° enables us to calculate the actual value of alpha. This study was carried out at 1.5 and 4.7 T, showing that the linearity of the RF supply system is highly dependent on the hardware. The method proposed here allows us to measure the flip angle from 1° to 60° with a maximal uncertainty of 10% and to correct T1 maps based on the variable flip angle method.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 30, 2012 - 9:17:52 PM
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Fabien Balezeau, Pierre-Antoine Eliat, Alejandro Bordelois Cayamo, Hervé Saint-Jalmes. Mapping of low flip angles in magnetic resonance.. Physics in Medicine and Biology, IOP Publishing, 2011, 56 (20), pp.6635-47. ⟨10.1088/0031-9155/56/20/008⟩. ⟨inserm-00664037⟩

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