Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary 3-D gradient echo techniques, and in particular FLASH, represent a significant advance in MR imaging strategy allowing thin section, high rsolution imaging through a large region of interest. Anatomical areas of application include the brain, spine, and extremities, although the majority of work to date has been performed in the brain. Superior T1 contrast and thus sensitivity to the presence of Gd DTPA is achieved with 3-D FLASH when compared to 2-D spin echo technique. There is marked arterial and venous enhancement following Gd DTPA administration on 3-D FLASH, a less common finding with 2-D spin echo. Enhancement of the falx and tentorium is also more prominent. From a single data acquisition, requiring less than 11 min of scan time, high resolution reformatted sagittal, coronal, and axial images can obtained in addition to sections in any arbitrary plane. Tissue segmentation techniques can be applied and lesions displayed in three dimensions. These results may lead to the replacement of 2-D spin echo with 3-D FLASH for high resolution T1-weighted MR imaging of the CNS, particularly in the study of mass lesions and structural anomalies. The application of similar T2-weighted gradient echo techniques may follow, however the signal-to-noise ratio which can be achieved remains a potential limitation.
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