2004 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 177-187
Improvements to the inherently high specific-absorption rate (SAR) of high-speed imaging at 3T are necessary in order to render this method clinically feasible. Various efforts have been undertaken to improve the associated hardware and software. In this review, we focus on whole-brain isotropic 3D imaging with a turbo spin-echo sequence with variable flip-angle echo trains (3D-TSE-VFL) and present its technical and clinical features. This sequence can be used to acquire images of various contrasts including T2-weighted, fat-suppressed T2-weighted, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), fat-suppressed FLAIR, and STIR (short tau inversion recovery). Various aspects of 3D-TSE-VFL are discussed, including CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) and metal artifacts, STIR contrast, small-part visualization other than brain, and the possibility of serial subtraction. Some images from clinical cases are presented.