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» Pulse Sequences

How do we change image contrast? What are the effects of parameter changes? This section explores image contrast and image acquisition methods.

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What is spoiling?

Spoiling is the method by which residual transverse magnetisation is destroyed (or cancelled) deliberately prior to the application of the next RF pulse in the next TR, instead of waiting for this magnetisation to decay away. Sequences may be RF spoiled or gradient spoiled, or both. RF spoiling involves applying a phase offset to each successive RF excitation pulse (think of it as the same flip angle but in a different direction, so that the residual magnetisation in the x-y plane always points in a different direction, preventing any build up towards a steady state). Variable gradient spoiling employs additional gradients of variable strengths from cycle to cycle.

Further reading on this topic:
Books: MRI From Picture to Proton p239, Q&A in MRI p107-108, MRI The Basics p233-234

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