Spin-echo-based acquisitions are the workhorse of clinical MRI because they provide a variety of useful image contrasts and are resistant to image artifacts from radio-frequency or static field inhomogeneity. Three-dimensional (3D) acquisitions provide datasets that can be retrospectively reformatted for viewing in freely selectable orientations, and are thus advantageous for evaluating the complex anatomy associated with many clinical applications of MRI. Historically, however, 3D spin-echo-based acquisitions have not played a significant role in clinical MRI due to unacceptably long acquisition times or image artifacts associated with details of the acquisition method. Recently, optimized forms of 3D fast/turbo spin-echo imaging have become available from several MR-equipment manufacturers (for example, CUBE [GE], SPACE [Siemens], and VISTA [Philips]). Through specific design strategies and optimization, including short non-spatially selective radio-frequency pulses to significantly shorten the echo spacing and variable flip angles for the refocusing radio-frequency pulses to suppress blurring or considerably lengthen the useable duration of the spin-echo train, these techniques permit single-slab 3D imaging of sizeable volumes in clinically acceptable acquisition times. These optimized fast/turbo spin-echo pulse sequences provide a robust and flexible approach for 3D spin-echo-based imaging with a broad range of clinical applications.
Keywords: 3D FSE; 3D TSE; RARE; fast spin echo; turbo spin echo; variable flip angles.
Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.