Ultrashort echo time imaging with half RF pulse excitation is challenging as eddy currents induced by the slice-select gradient distort the half pulse slice profile. This work presents two pulses with T(2)-dependent slice profiles that are less sensitive to eddy currents. The double half pulse improves the slice selectivity for long T(2) components, while the inverted double half pulse suppresses the unwanted long T(2) signal. Thus, both approaches prevent imperfect cancellation of out-of-slice signal from contaminating the desired slice. Experimental results demonstrate substantially improved slice selectivity and R(2)* quantitation accuracy with these pulses. These pulses are effective in making short T(2) imaging and quantitation less sensitive to eddy currents and provide an alternative to time-consuming gradient characterization.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.