The present work explores the possibility of localizing veins with magnetic resonance venography using susceptibility weighted imaging. It also seeks new approaches, directed by the spatial specificity of activated brain regions, that have sufficient precision for practical use in functional MRI studies. A 3D flow compensated multiple gradient echo sequence, featuring optimized T2* weighting within a reasonable time of acquisition (11 min) and a small voxel size (0.5×0.5×1 mm3), was used to acquire MR images at 3 T. Post-processing consisted of homodyne filtering, linear phase scaling and magnitude masking prior to minimum intensity projection (mIP). The multiple echo approach provided a satisfactory (48±7%) increase in signal-to-noise ratio with respect to conventional methods. Specific features of the blood oxygenation level-dependent phase effect were simulated and used for designing and exploring different phase masking methods in relation to vessel morphology and MRI voxel geometry. As with simulations, the best results were obtained with an asymmetric triangular phase masking, featuring an improved venographic contrast without any increase in the full-width at half-maximum. The multiple echo approach provided satisfactory vessel localization capacity by using asymmetric triangular phase masking and a 4-mm-thick mIP. The venographic contrast obtained enabled the detection of vessels with diameter down to approximately 500 μm, suggesting the applicability of the proposed method as an additional technique in fMRI studies.
- BOLD dephasing
- Susceptibility effects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging