A new flow suppression method has been proposed for the acquisition of blood-suppressed (black-blood) images in combination with administration of a positive contrast agent. The technique employs the quadruple inversion-recovery (QIR) preparative pulse sequence, which consists of two double-inversion modules followed by two delays. Within each double inversion, a nonselective RF pulse is immediately followed by a slice-selective one. The time intervals of the sequence can be calculated using an algorithm based on minimization of the variation of a signal equation over an entire range of T(1) occurring in blood before and after contrast administration. QIR is highly insensitive to variations of T(1), providing efficient suppression of a flow signal with T(1) in a range of 200-1200 ms. The technique utilizes identical scan parameters for pre- and postcontrast acquisition, and thus allows reliable quantitative interpretation of contrast enhancement (CE). The clinical application of QIR was demonstrated in high-resolution, contrast-enhanced, black-blood imaging of atherosclerotic plzzaque.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.