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Saturation Recovery
(SR) Particular type of partial saturation pulse sequence in which the preceding pulses leave the spins in a state of saturation, so that recovery at the time of the next pulse has taken place from an initial condition of no magnetization. A rare used MRI pulse sequence that generates a predominantly proton density dependent signal, basically employing a 90° RF excitation pulse, with a very long repetition time. With this technique T1 times can be measured faster than with inversion recovery pulse sequences.
This saturation recovery sequence consists of multiple 90° radio frequency (RF) pulses with a short repetition time. A spoiler gradient pulse dephases the longitudinal magnetization that remains after the first 90° radio frequency pulse. A repetition time interval after the application of this spoiling gradient turns an additional 90° pulse the new developed longitudinal magnetization into the transverse plane, followed by recording a gradient echo.
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Partial SaturationInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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(PS) Excitation technique applying repeated RF pulses in times comparable to or shorter than T1. Incomplete T1 relaxation leads to reduction of the signal amplitude;; there is the possibility of generating images with increased contrast between regions with different relaxation times.
Although partial saturation is also commonly referred to as saturation recovery, that term should properly be reserved for the particular case of partial saturation in which recovery after each excitation effectively takes place from true saturation. A GRE sequence where a = 90° is identical to the partial saturation or saturation recovery pulse sequence.
It does not directly produce images of T1. However, since the measured signal will depend on T1, the method generates contrast between regions with different relaxation times. If T2 and/or T2 effects are minimized through the use of a short echo time TE, the result is a T1 weighted image. It is not a T1 image due to the possible presence of spin density and T2 effects as well as the nonlinear dependence on T1.
The change in signal from a region resulting from a change in the interpulse time, TR, can be used to calculate T1 for the region.

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Gradient Echo SequenceForum -
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Gradient Echo Sequence Timing Diagram (GRE - sequence) A gradient echo is generated by using a pair of bipolar gradient pulses. In the pulse sequence timing diagram, the basic gradient echo sequence is illustrated. There is no refocusing 180° pulse and the data are sampled during a gradient echo, which is achieved by dephasing the spins with a negatively pulsed gradient before they are rephased by an opposite gradient with opposite polarity to generate the echo.
See also the Pulse Sequence Timing Diagram. There you will find a description of the components.
The excitation pulse is termed the alpha pulse a. It tilts the magnetization by a flip angle a, which is typically between 0° and 90°. With a small flip angle there is a reduction in the value of transverse magnetization that will affect subsequent RF pulses. The flip angle can also be slowly increased during data acquisition (variable flip angle: tilt optimized nonsaturation excitation). The data are not acquired in a steady state, where z-magnetization recovery and destruction by ad-pulses are balanced. However, the z-magnetization is used up by tilting a little more of the remaining z-magnetization into the xy-plane for each acquired imaging line.
Gradient echo imaging is typically accomplished by examining the FID, whereas the read gradient is turned on for localization of the signal in the readout direction. T2* is the characteristic decay time constant associated with the FID. The contrast and signal generated by a gradient echo depend on the size of the longitudinal magnetization and the flip angle. When a = 90° the sequence is identical to the so-called partial saturation or saturation recovery pulse sequence. In standard GRE imaging, this basic pulse sequence is repeated as many times as image lines have to be acquired. Additional gradients or radio frequency pulses are introduced with the aim to spoil to refocus the xy-magnetization at the moment when the spin system is subject to the next a pulse.
As a result of the short repetition time, the z-magnetization cannot fully recover and after a few initial a pulses there is an equilibrium established between z-magnetization recovery and z-magnetization reduction due to the a pulses.
Gradient echoes have a lower SAR, are more sensitive to field inhomogeneities and have a reduced crosstalk, so that a small or no slice gap can be used. In or out of phase imaging depending on the selected TE (and field strength of the magnet) is possible. As the flip angle is decreased, T1 weighting can be maintained by reducing the TR. T2* weighting can be minimized by keeping the TE as short as possible, but pure T2 weighting is not possible. By using a reduced flip angle, some of the magnetization value remains longitudinal (less time needed to achieve full recovery) and for a certain T1 and TR, there exist one flip angle that will give the most signal, known as the "Ernst angle".
Contrast values:
PD weighted: Small flip angle (no T1), long TR (no T1) and short TE (no T2*)
T1 weighted: Large flip angle (70°), short TR (less than 50ms) and short TE
T2* weighted: Small flip angle, some longer TR (100 ms) and long TE (20 ms)

Classification of GRE sequences can be made into four categories:
T1 weighted or incoherent/(RF or gradient) spoiled GRE sequences
T1/T2* weighted or coherent//refocused GRE sequences
T2 weighted contrast enhanced GRE sequences
ultrafast GRE sequences
See also Gradient Recalled Echo Sequence, Spoiled Gradient Echo Sequence, Refocused Gradient Echo Sequence, Ultrafast Gradient Echo Sequence.
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Progressive Saturation
See Saturation Recovery.
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In MR, saturation is a nonequilibrium state with no net magnetization. The same amount of nuclear spins is aligned against and with the magnetic field. Saturation methods like FatSat, SPIR etc., work with a frequency selective saturation pulse for a specific chemical shift applied before the actual sequence starts. This saturation pulse adjusts the magnetization from tissue components to zero. The hydrogen nuclei of fat and water resonate at different frequencies, which makes it possible to excite just the fat with repeatedly applying RF pulses at the Larmor frequency with interpulse times compared to T1. The resulting signal is then destroyed with a gradient pulse (Spoiler Gradient Pulse). Fat is the chemical compound to be saturated at a fat saturation sequence. When the actual sequence follows, (e.g., a spin echo sequence) the unwanted suppressed component will not resonate.
See also Saturation Recovery.

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