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Parameter Optimization for Quantitative Signal-Concentration Mapping Using Spoiled Gradient Echo MRI


Rationale and Objectives. Accurate signal to tracer concentration maps are critical to quantitative MRI. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and optimize spoiled gradient echo (SPGR) MR sequences for the use of gadolinium (Gd-DTPA) as a kinetic tracer. Methods. Water-gadolinium phantoms were constructed for a physiologic range of gadolinium concentrations. Observed and calculated SPGR signal to concentration curves were generated. Using a percentage error determination, optimal pulse parameters for signal to concentration mapping were obtained. Results. The accuracy of the SPGR equation is a function of the chosen MR pulse parameters, particularly the time to repetition (TR) and the flip angle (FA). At all experimental values of TR, increasing FA decreases the ratio between observed and calculated signals. Conversely, for a constant FA, increasing TR increases this ratio. Using optimized pulse parameter sets, it is possible to achieve excellent accuracy (approximately 5%) over a physiologic range of concentration tracer concentrations. Conclusion. Optimal pulse parameter sets exist and their use is essential for deriving accurate signal to concentration curves in quantitative MRI.

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