Optimal implementation of pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL) methods such as flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery (FAIR), require the minimization of interactions between the inversion and imaging slabs. For FAIR, the inversion: imaging slice thickness ratio (STR) is usually at least 3:1 in order to fully contain the extent of the imaging slice. The resulting gap exacerbates the transit time. So far, efforts to minimize the STR have concentrated on the inversion profile. However, the imaging profile remains a limiting factor especially for rapid sequences such as turbo fast low-angle shot (TurboFLASH) which uses short pulses. This study reports the implementation of a TurboFLASH sequence with optimized inversion and imaging profiles. Slice-selection is achieved with a preparation module incorporating a pair of identical adiabatic frequency offset corrected inversion (FOCI) pulses. The optimum radiofrequency (RF) and gradient scheme for this pulse combination is described, and the relaxation characteristics of the slice-selection scheme are investigated. Phantom experiments demonstrate a reduction in the STR to approximately 1.13:1. Implementation in an animal model is described, and the benefit of the improved profile in probing the sensitivity of the flow signal to tagging geometry is demonstrated. Sensitivity to transit time effects can be minimized with this sequence, and ASL methodologies can be better explored as a result of the improved conformance with the ideal of square slice profiles.
- Arterial spin labeling
- RF pulses
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging