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Investigation of gradient echo MRI for blood vessel imaging and susceptibility-weighted imaging in the human brain Open Access


Other title
3D imaging
Multiple sclerosis
High field
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Eissa, Amir
Supervisor and department
Frances Fenrich (Physics)
Alan Wilman (Biomedical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Nicola De Zanche (Oncology)
Alan Wilman (Biomedical Engineering)
Frances Fenrich (Physics)
Richard Frayne (Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences; University of Calgary)
Jack Tuszynski (Physics)
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Despite the vast myriad of applications and the long way it has come, MRI is still a relatively new field of knowledge with much prospect for more advancement and expansion. This work is mainly concerned with two gradient echo imaging methods which are directly or indirectly related to blood vessel imaging as well as iron depiction in the human brain. In each case, new methods are introduced that overcome existing limitations. For blood vessel imaging, 3D Time-of-Flight (TOF) MR angiography (MRA) with its known capability to image arteries as well as veins was implemented at 3.0 T. At this field strength, the significant RF profile variability due to RF inhomogeneity is a liability for circle-of-Willis imaging in the human brain that was overcome by introducing a new means to counter the RF effects through increased slope of the ramped pulse. In addition a new method is introduced for TOF MRA with two-in-one arterial and venous 3D TOF imaging to overcome the significant scan time overhead of a traditional second venous scan and for cutting down RF power utilization. Using this method, total scan time could be reduced by as much as 46% and specific absorption rate (SAR) due to spatial saturation could be reduced by as much as 92%. For iron sensitive imaging, Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) was developed at 4.7 T. The phase SWI method was used to visualize lesions in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients and was experimentally compared to the visibility on standard T2 weighting with results demonstrating visualization of new lesions, with 18% of total lesions exclusively visible on SWI. A new approach to 3D imaging was also introduced to enable accurate oblique SWI scanning while overcoming the current restriction to axial imaging to produce correct phase effects for oblique imaging. New results from oblique phase imaging were presented and the phase measurements from key brain structures were successfully validated against images obtained by the current standard of axial imaging.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File title: PhD Thesis MRI Physics
File author: Amir Eissa
Page count: 189
File language: EN-US
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