An optimized MR sequence for structural three-dimensional brain scans is presented, giving good T(1) contrast and excellent white matter/gray matter segmentation. Modification of the usual linear phase encoding order to centric phase encoding restores the contrast loss, which usually occurs after magnetization preparation during the acquisition process when large volumes are imaged. The deleterious effects on the point-spread function are compensated by means of an appropriate k-space filter. RF coil inhomogeneities are corrected by means of shaped excitation pulses. High contrast-to-noise images of the entire brain with 1 mm isotropic resolution can be obtained in 12 min. The contrast-to-noise-ratio is about 100% higher than for sequences based on linear phase encoding.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.