Twofold improved tumor-to-brain contrast using a novel T1 relaxation-enhanced steady-state (T1RESS) MRI technique

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Science Advances  28 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 44, eabd1635
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd1635


A technique that provides more accurate cancer detection would be of great value. Toward this end, we developed T1 relaxation-enhanced steady-state (T1RESS), a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pulse sequence that enables the flexible modulation of T1 weighting and provides the unique feature that intravascular signals can be toggled on and off in contrast-enhanced scans. T1RESS makes it possible to effectively use an MRI technique with improved signal-to-noise ratio efficiency for cancer imaging. In a proof-of-concept study, “dark blood” unbalanced T1RESS provided a twofold improvement in tumor-to-brain contrast compared with standard techniques, whereas balanced T1RESS greatly enhanced vascular detail. In conclusion, T1RESS represents a new MRI technique with substantial potential value for cancer imaging, along with a broad range of other clinical applications.

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