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Fluid Attenuation Inversion RecoveryInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
Types of, 
(FLAIR) Fluid attenuation inversion recovery is a special inversion recovery sequence with long TI to remove the effects of fluid from the resulting images. The TI time of the FLAIR pulse sequence is adjusted to the relaxation time of the component that should be suppressed. For fluid suppression the inversion time (long TI) is set to the zero crossing point of fluid, resulting in the signal being 'erased'.
Lesions that are normally covered by bright fluid signals using conventional T2 contrast are made visible by the dark fluid technique FLAIR is an important technique for the differentiation of brain and spine lesions.
See also Inversion Recovery.
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 Brain MRI Coronal FLAIR 001  Open this link in a new window
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Newer Sequences for Spinal MR Imaging: Smorgasbord or Succotash of Acronyms?
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Brain MRIForum -
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Brain imaging, magnetic resonance imaging of the head or skull, cranial magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), neurological MRI - they describe all the same radiological imaging technique for medical diagnostic.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the human brain includes the anatomic description and the detection of lesions. Special techniques like diffusion weighted imaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and spectroscopy provide also information about the function and chemical metabolites of the brain. MRI provides detailed pictures of brain and nerve tissues in multiple planes without obstruction by overlying bones. Brain MRI is the procedure of choice for most brain disorders. It provides clear images of the brainstem and posterior brain, which are difficult to view on a CT scan. It is also useful for the diagnosis of demyelinating disorders (disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) that cause destruction of the myelin sheath of the nerve).
With this noninvasive procedure also the evaluation of blood flow and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is possible. Different MRA methods, also without contrast agents can show a venous or arterial angiogram. MRI can distinguish tumors, inflammatory lesions, and other pathologies from the normal brain anatomy. However, MRI scans are also used instead other methods to avoid the dangers of interventional procedures like angiography (DSA - digital subtraction angiography) as well as of repeated exposure to radiation as required for computed tomography (CT) and other X-ray examinations.
A (birdcage) bird cage coil achieves uniform excitation and reception and is commonly used to study the brain. Usually a brain MRI procedure includes FLAIR, T2 weighted and T1 weighted sequences in two or three planes.
See also Fetal MRI, Fluid Attenuation Inversion Recovery (FLAIR), Perfusion Imaging and High Field MRI.
See also Arterial Spin Labeling.
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• View the DATABASE results for 'Brain MRI' (14).Open this link in a new window

• View the NEWS results for 'Brain MRI' (32).Open this link in a new window.
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Inversion Recovery SequenceForum -
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Inversion Recovery Sequence Timing Diagram (IR) The inversion recovery pulse sequence produces signals, which represent the longitudinal magnetization existing after the application of a 180° radio frequency pulse that rotates the magnetization Mz into the negative plane. After an inversion time (TI - time between the starting 180° pulse and the following 90° pulse), a further 90° RF pulse tilts some or all of the z-magnetization into the xy-plane, where the signal is usually rephased with a 180° pulse as in the spin echo sequence. During the initial time period, various tissues relax with their intrinsic T1 relaxation time.
In the pulse sequence timing diagram, the basic inversion recovery sequence is illustrated. The 180° inversion pulse is attached prior to the 90° excitation pulse of a spin echo acquisition. See also the Pulse Sequence Timing Diagram. There you will find a description of the components.
The inversion recovery sequence has the advantage, that it can provide very strong contrast between tissues having different T1 relaxation times or to suppress tissues like fluid or fat. But the disadvantage is, that the additional inversion radio frequency RF pulse makes this sequence less time efficient than the other pulse sequences.

Contrast values:
PD weighted: TE: 10-20 ms, TR: 2000 ms, TI: 1800 ms
T1 weighted: TE: 10-20 ms, TR: 2000 ms, TI: 400-800 ms
T2 weighted: TE: 70 ms, TR: 2000 ms, TI: 400-800 ms

See also Inversion Recovery, Short T1 Inversion Recovery, Fluid Attenuation Inversion Recovery, and Acronyms for 'Inversion Recovery Sequence' from different manufacturers.
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• View the DATABASE results for 'Inversion Recovery Sequence' (8).Open this link in a new window

Further Reading:
The equation for a repeated inversion recovery sequence
Contrast mechanisms in magnetic resonance imaging
2004   by    
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Short T1 Inversion RecoveryInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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(STIR) Also called Short Tau (t) (inversion time) Inversion Recovery. STIR is a fat suppression technique with an inversion time TI = T1 ln2 where the signal of fat is zero (T1 is the spin lattice relaxation time of the component that should be suppressed). To distinguish two tissue components with this technique, the T1 values must be different. Fluid Attenuation Inversion Recovery (FLAIR) is a similar technique to suppress water.
Inversion recovery doubles the distance spins will recover, allowing more time for T1 differences. A 180° preparation pulse inverts the net magnetization to the negative longitudinal magnetization prior to the 90° excitation pulse. This specialized application of the inversion recovery sequence set the inversion time (TI) of the sequence at 0.69 times the T1 of fat. The T1 of fat at 1.5 Tesla is approximately 250 with a null point of 170 ms while at 0.5 Tesla its 215 with a 148 ms null point. At the moment of excitation, about 120 to 170 ms after the 180° inversion pulse (depending of the magnetic field) the magnetization of the fat signal has just risen to zero from its original, negative, value and no fat signal is available to be flipped into the transverse plane.
When deciding on the optimal T1 time, factors to be considered include not only the main field strength, but also the tissue to be suppressed and the anatomy. In comparison to a conventional spin echo where tissues with a short T1 are bright due to faster recovery, fat signal is reversed or darkened. Because body fluids have both a long T1 and a long T2, it is evident that STIR offers the possibility of extremely sensitive detection of body fluid. This is of course, only true for stationary fluid such as edema, as the MRI signal of flowing fluids is governed by other factors.
See also Fat Suppression and Inversion Recovery Sequence.
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• View the DATABASE results for 'Short T1 Inversion Recovery' (3).Open this link in a new window

Further Reading:
Techniques of Fat Suppression(.pdf)
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Contrast mechanisms in magnetic resonance imaging
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Spine MRIMRI Resource Directory:
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the spine is a noninvasive procedure to evaluate different types of tissue, including the spinal cord, vertebral disks and spaces between the vertebrae through which the nerves travel, as well as distinguish healthy tissue from diseased tissue.
The cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine MRI should be scanned in individual sections. The scan protocol parameter like e.g. the field of view (FOV), slice thickness and matrix are usually different for cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine MRI, but the method is similar. The standard views in the basic spinal MRI scan to create detailed slices (cross sections) are sagittal T1 weighted and T2 weighted images over the whole body part, and transverse (e.g. multi angle oblique) over the region of interest with different pulse sequences according to the result of the sagittal slices. Additional views or different types of pulse sequences like fat suppression, fluid attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR) or diffusion weighted imaging are created dependent on the indication.
Neurological deficit, evidence of radiculopathy, cauda equina compression
Primary tumors or drop metastases
Infection/inflammatory disease, multiple sclerosis
Postoperative evaluation of lumbar spine: disk vs. scar
Evaluation of syrinx
Localized back pain with no radiculopathy (leg pain)

Contrast enhanced MRI techniques delineate infections vs. malignancies, show a syrinx cavity and support to differentiate the postoperative conditions. After surgery for disk disease, significant fibrosis can occur in the spine. This scarring can mimic residual disk herniation. Magnetic resonance myelography evaluates spinal stenosis and various intervertebral discs can be imaged with multi angle oblique techniques. Cine series can be used to show true range of motion studies of parts of the spine. Advanced open MRI devices are developed to perform positional scans in the position of pain or symptom (e.g. Upright™ MRI formerly Stand-Up MRI).
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 Anatomic Imaging of the Lumbar Spine  Open this link in a new window

Courtesy of  Robert R. Edelman

Radiology-tip.comBone Densitometry,  Myelography

• View the DATABASE results for 'Spine MRI' (11).Open this link in a new window

• View the NEWS results for 'Spine MRI' (4).Open this link in a new window.
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Newer Sequences for Spinal MR Imaging: Smorgasbord or Succotash of Acronyms?
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