Purpose: To develop a fast T1-weighted, fat-suppressed three-dimensional dual echo Dixon technique and to demonstrate its use in contrast agent enhanced MRI.
Materials and methods: A product fast three-dimensional gradient echo pulse sequence was modified to acquire dual echoes after each RF excitation with water and fat signals in-phase (IP) and opposed-phase (OP), respectively. An on-line reconstruction algorithm was implemented to automatically generate separate water and fat images. The signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the new technique was compared to that of the product technique in phantom. In vivo abdomen and breast images of cancer patients were acquired at 1.5 Tesla using both techniques before and after intravenous administration of gadolinium contrast agent.
Results: In phantom, the new technique yields a close to the theoretically predicted 41% increase in SNR in comparison to the product technique without fat suppression (FS). In vivo images of the new technique show noticeably improved FS and image quality in comparison to the images acquired of the same patients using the product technique with FS.
Conclusion: The three-dimensional dual echo Dixon technique provides excellent image quality and can be used for T1-weighted, fat-suppressed imaging with contrast agent injection.