Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences




Phantoms with known T$_{1}$ and T$_{2}$ values that are prepared using solutions of easily accessible paramagnetic agents are commonly used in MRI imaging centers, especially with the goal of validating the accuracy of quantitative imaging protocols. The relaxivity parameters of several agents were comprehensively examined at lower B$_{0}$ field strengths, but studies at 3 T remain limited. The main goal of this study is to measure r$_{1}$ and r$_{2}$ relaxivities of three common paramagnetic agents (CuSO$_{4}$, MnCl$_{2}$, and NiCl$_{2})$ at room temperature at 3 T. Separate phantoms were prepared at various concentrations of 0.05-0.5 mM for MnCl$_{2}$ and 1-6 mM for CuSO$_{4}$ and NiCl$_{2}$. For assessment of T$_{1}$ relaxation times, inversion recovery turbo spin echo images were acquired at 15 inversion times ranging between 24 and 2500 ms. For assessment of T$_{2}$ relaxation times, spin-echo images were acquired at 15 echo times ranging between 8.5 and 255 ms. Voxel-wise T$_{1}$ and T$_{2}$ relaxation times at each concentration were separately determined from the respective signal recovery curves (inversion recovery for T$_{1}$ and spin echo decay for T$_{2})$. Relaxivities r$_{1}$ and r$_{2}$ for all three agents that were derived from these relaxation time measurements are reported: r$_{1}$ = 0.602 mM$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$ and r$_{2}$ = 0.730 mM$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$ for CuSO$_{4}$, r$_{1}$ = 6.397 mM$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$ and r$_{2}$ = 108.266 mM$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$ for MnCl$_{2}$, r$_{1}$ = 0.620 mM$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$ and r$_{2}$ = 0.848 mM$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$ for NiCl$_{2}$. These results will serve as a practical reference to design phantoms of target T$_{1}$ and T$_{2}$ values at 3 T, in particular phantoms with relaxation times equivalent to specific human tissues.

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