Optimization of white-matter-nulled magnetization prepared rapid gradient echo (MP-RAGE) imaging

Magn Reson Med. 2015 May;73(5):1786-94. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25298. Epub 2014 May 29.


Purpose: To optimize the white-matter-nulled (WMn) Magnetization Prepared Rapid Gradient Echo (MP-RAGE) sequence at 7 Tesla (T), with comparisons to 3T.

Methods: Optimal parameters for maximizing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficiency were derived. The effect of flip angle and repetition time (TR) on image blurring was modeled using simulations and validated in vivo. A novel two-dimensional (2D) -centric radial fan beam (RFB) k-space segmentation scheme was used to shorten scan times and improve parallel imaging. Healthy subjects as well as patients with multiple sclerosis and tremor were scanned using the optimized protocols.

Results: Inversion repetition times (TS) of 4.5 s and 6 s were found to yield the highest SNR efficiency for WMn MP-RAGE at 3T and 7T, respectively. Blurring was more sensitive to flip in WMn than in CSFn MP-RAGE and relatively insensitive to TR for both regimes. The 2D RFB scheme had 19% and 47% higher thalamic SNR and SNR efficiency than the 1D centric scheme for WMn MP-RAGE. Compared with 3T, SNR and SNR efficiency were higher for the 7T WMn regime by 56% and 41%, respectively. MS lesions in the cortex and thalamus as well as thalamic subnuclei in tremor patients were clearly delineated using WMn MP-RAGE.

Conclusion: Optimization and new view ordering enabled MP-RAGE imaging with 0.8-1 mm(3) isotropic spatial resolution in scan times of 5 min with whole brain coverage.

Keywords: 2D-centric k-space segmentation; MP-RAGE; magnetization-prepared rapid gradient echo; radial fan beam segmentation; white-matter-nulled MP-RAGE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / methods*
  • Essential Tremor / diagnosis
  • Essential Tremor / pathology
  • Gray Matter / pathology
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Lateral Thalamic Nuclei / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Ventral Thalamic Nuclei / pathology
  • White Matter / pathology*