Gradient and spin echo (GRASE) imaging is an echo train imaging sequence that combines gradient and RF refocusing. This combination introduces phase modulations into the echo train. If the phase encoding order is linear with echo time, these modulations cause severe ghosting artifacts. Changing the order of phase encoding can greatly reduce these artifacts. Several phase encoding orders for T2-weighted sequences are compared in this paper, linear, partially randomized, standard GRASE ordering, and k-banded (kb) GRASE ordering. Different possible implementations of GRASE and kbGRASE are also considered. Computer simulation is used to compare resolution and artifact levels. Phantom and volunteer images are presented. The linear order is most sensitive to ghosting artifacts associated with chemical shift, susceptibility differences and static field inhomogeneities. The standard GRASE order is least sensitive to these but most vulnerable to artifacts associated with short T2 signals, kb-GRASE is a good intermediate between linear and standard GRASE and generally shows the lowest artifact levels. The partially randomized order gives the most diffuse artifacts. Computer simulations show that spatial resolution and contrast with all phase encoding orders are similar.
- rapid imaging