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 'Contrast Enhanced Gradient Echo Sequence' 
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Contrast Enhanced Gradient Echo SequenceInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
Intro, 
Overview, 
Types of, 
etc.
 
Contrast enhanced GRE sequences provide T2 contrast but have a relatively poor SNR. Repetitive RF pulses with small flip angles together with appropriate gradient profiles lead to the superposition of two resonance signals.
The first signal is due to the free induction decay FID observed after the first and all ensuing RF excitations.
The second is a resonance signal obtained as a result of a spin echo generated by the second and all addicted RF-pulses.
Hence it is absent after the first excitation, it is a result of the free induction decay of the second to last RF-excitation and has a TE, which is almost 2TR. For this echo to occur the gradients have to be completely symmetrical relative to the half time between two RF-pulses, a condition that makes it difficult to integrate this pulse sequence into a multiple slice imaging technique. The second signal not only contains echo contributions from free induction decay, but obviously weakened by T2-decay. Since the echo is generated by a RF-pulse, it is truly T2 rather than T2* weighted. Correspondingly it is also less sensitive to susceptibility changes and field inhomogeneities.
Companies use different acronyms to describe certain techniques.
Different terms (see also acronyms) for these gradient echo pulse sequences:
CE-FAST Contrast Enhanced Fourier Acquired Steady State,
CE-FFE Contrast Enhanced Fast Field Echo,
CE-GRE Contrast Enhanced Gradient-Echo,
DE-FGR Driven Equilibrium FGR,
FADE FASE Acquisition Double Echo,
PSIF Reverse Fast Imaging with Steady State Precession,
SSFP Steady State Free Precession,
T2 FFE Contrast Enhanced Fast Field Echo (T2 weighted).

In this context, 'contrast enhanced' refers to the pulse sequence, it does not mean enhancement with a contrast agent.

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Gradient Field Echo with ContrastInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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(GFEC) A contrast enhanced gradient echo sequence.
See Contrast Enhanced Gradient Echo Sequence and Refocused Gradient Echo Sequence.
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Contrast Enhanced FASTInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
Intro, 
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(CE-FAST) In this technique, the MR signal is sampled immediately prior to each RF pulse. Because the signal is formed by a true spin echo, its contrast is predominantly T2-, rather than T2*-based and is less sensitive to artifacts and signal losses related to field non-uniformity and susceptibility variation. While the signal to noise ratio is limited, the CE-FAST method has the advantage of good contrast.
See Contrast Enhanced Gradient Echo Sequence and Gradient Echo Sequence.
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Contrast Enhanced Fast Field Echo with T2 Star WeightingMRI Resource Directory:
 - Sequences -
 
(CE-FFE-T2) A T2* weighted gradient echo sequence.
See Coherent Gradient Echo and Contrast Enhanced Gradient Echo Sequence.

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Contrast Enhanced Magnetic Resonance AngiographyInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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etc.MRI Resource Directory:
 - MRA -
 
(CE MRA) Contrast enhanced MR angiography is based on the T1 values of blood, the surrounding tissue, and paramagnetic contrast agent.
T1-shortening contrast agents reduces the T1 value of the blood (approximately to 50 msec, shorter than that of the surrounding tissues) and allow the visualization of blood vessels, as the images are no longer dependent primarily on the inflow effect of the blood. Contrast enhanced MRA is performed with a short TR to have low signal (due to the longer T1) from the stationary tissue, short scan time to facilitate breath hold imaging, short TE to minimize T2* effects and a bolus injection of a sufficient dose of a gadolinium chelate.
Images of the region of interest are performed with 3D spoiled gradient echo pulse sequences. The enhancement is maximized by timing the contrast agent injection such that the period of maximum arterial concentration corresponds to the k-space acquisition. Different techniques are used to ensure optimal contrast of the arteries e.g., bolus timing, automatic bolus detection, bolus tracking, care bolus. A high resolution with near isotropic voxels and minimal pulsatility and misregistration artifacts should be striven for. The postprocessing with the maximum intensity projection (MIP) enables different views of the 3D data set.
Unlike conventional MRA techniques based on velocity dependent inflow or phase shift techniques, contrast enhanced MRA exploits the gadolinium induced T1-shortening effects. CE MRA reduces or eliminates most of the artifacts of time of flight angiography or phase contrast angiography. Advantages are the possibility of in plane imaging of the blood vessels, which allows to examine large parts in a short time and high resolution scans in one breath hold. CE MRA has found a wide acceptance in the clinical routine, caused by the advantages:
3D MRA can be acquired in any plane, which means that greater vessel coverage can be obtained at high resolution with fewer slices (aorta, peripheral vessels);
the possibility to perform a time resolved examination (similarly to conventional angiography);
no use of ionizing radiation; paramagnetic agents have a beneficial safety.


 
Images, Movies, Sliders:
 CE-MRA of the Carotid Arteries  Open this link in a new window
    
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 CE MRA of the Aorta  Open this link in a new window
    
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 CE-MRA of the Carotid Arteries Colored MIP  Open this link in a new window
    
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Further Reading:
  Basics:
Contrast-Enhanced MR Angiography(.pdf)
   by ric.uthscsa.edu    
CONTRAST ENHANCED MR ANGIOGRAPHY PRINCIPLES, APPLICATIONS, TIPS AND PITFALLS(.pdf)
  News & More:
CONTRAST-ENHANCED MRA OF THE CAROTIDS(.pdf)
PERIPHERAL VASCULAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE ANGIOGRAPHY(.pdf)
CONTRAST ENHANCED MRI OF THE LIVER STATE-OF-THE-ART(.pdf)
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