Technical parameters affecting image characteristics in in vivo MR microscopy of the mouse

Yamada K, Wisner ER, de Ropp JS, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2002;43:518-527.

The aim of the study was to assess the effects of changing acquisition parameters used for high-resolution in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) microscopy on image quality and scan time. The head or abdomen of 11 normal and 1 glioblastoma-bearing anesthetized BALB/c mice were imaged using a high-resolution 7.0-Tesla magnet. Scan parameters such as matrix size (MTX), slice thickness (ST), number of excitations (NEX), pulse sequence type including repetition time (TR) and echo time (TE), respiratory gating, and intraperitoneal contrast medium administration were altered to assess their actual effect on signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) as compared to calculated effects. As expected, SNR increased with increasing ST or NEX and with decreasing MTX. However, although the empirical increase in SNR was similar to that expected for increased ST, it was less than that anticipated for increasing NEX or decreasing MTX. Increasing NEX and applying respiratory gating both increased SNR and reduced the image degradation associated with respiratory motion in images of the abdomen. Intraperitoneal contrast medium administration produced a marked increase in CNR in the subject with the implanted glioblastoma, suggesting that this route is satisfactory for the enhancement of lesions disrupting the blood-brain barrier. The consequence of improving image quality in terms of spatial and contrast resolution is increased scan time. However, the actual increase in SNR when altering acquisition parameters may not be as much as predicted by theory.