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Signal to Noise Ratio
 
(SNR or S/N) The signal to noise ratio is used in MRI to describe the relative contributions to a detected signal of the true signal and random superimposed signals ('background noise') - a criterion for image quality.
One common method to increase the SNR is to average several measurements of the signal, on the expectation that random contributions will tend to cancel out. The SNR can also be improved by sampling larger volumes (increasing the field of view and slice thickness with a corresponding loss of spatial resolution) or, within limits, by increasing the strength of the magnetic field used. Surface coils can also be used to improve local signal intensity. The SNR will depend, in part, on the electrical properties of the sample or patient being studied. The SNR increases in proportion to voxel volume (1/resolution), the square root of the number of acquisitions (NEX), and the square root of the number of scans (phase encodings). SNR decreases with the field of view squared (FOV2) and wider bandwidths. See also Signal Intensity and Spin Density.
Measuring SNR:
Record the mean value of a small ROI placed in the most homogeneous area of tissue with high signal intensity (e.g. white matter in thalamus). Calculate the standard deviation for the largest possible ROI placed outside the object in the image background (avoid ghosting/aliasing or eye movement artifact regions).
The SNR is then:
Mean Signal/Standard Deviation of Background Noise
 
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Further Reading:
  Basics:
Musculoskeletal MRI at 3.0 T: Relaxation Times and Image Contrast
Sunday, 1 August 2004   by www.ajronline.org    
  News & More:
Metamaterials boost sensitivity of MRI machines
Thursday, 14 January 2016   by www.eurekalert.org    
Picture-Perfect Particles Enhance MRI Signal
Friday, 13 April 2012   by cen.acs.org    
Optimizing Musculoskeletal MR
   by rad.usuhs.mil    
Technical Assessment of Artifact Production from Neuro Endovascular Coil At 3 Tesla MRI: An In Vitro Study
2012   by www.tmps.or.th    
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Radiology  (2) Open this link in a new windowUltrasound  (8) Open this link in a new window
BandwidthForum -
related threads
 
(BW) Bandwidth is a measure of frequency range, the range between the highest and lowest frequency allowed in the signal. For analog signals, which can be mathematically viewed as a function of time, bandwidth is the width, measured in Hertz of a frequency range in which the signal's Fourier transform is nonzero.
The receiver (or acquisition) bandwidth (rBW) is the range of frequencies accepted by the receiver to sample the MR signal. The receiver bandwidth is changeable (see also acronyms for 'bandwidth' from different manufacturers) and has a direct relationship to the signal to noise ratio (SNR) (SNR = 1/squareroot (rBW). The bandwidth depends on the readout (or frequency encoding) gradient strength and the data sampling rate (or dwell time).
Bandwidth is defined by BW = Sampling Rate/Number of Samples.
A smaller bandwidth improves SNR, but can cause spatial distortions, also increases the chemical shift. A larger bandwidth reduces SNR (more noise from the outskirts of the spectrum), but allows faster imaging.
The transmit bandwidth refers to the RF excitation pulse required for slice selection in a pulse sequence. The slice thickness is proportional to the bandwidth of the RF pulse (and inversely proportional to the applied gradient strength). Lowering the pulse bandwidth can reduce the slice thickness.



Image Guidance
A higher bandwidth is used for the reduction of chemical shift artifacts (lower bandwidth - more chemical shift - longer dwell time - but better signal to noise ratio). Narrow receive bandwidths accentuate this water fat shift by assigning a smaller number of frequencies across the MRI image. This effect is much more significant on higher field strengths. At 1.5 T, fat and water precess 220 Hz apart, which results in a higher shift than in Low Field MRI.
Lower bandwidth (measured in Hz) = higher water fat shift (measured in pixel shift).
See also Aliasing, Aliasing Artifact, Frequency Encoding, and Chemical Shift Artifact.

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Further Reading:
  Basics:
Bandwidth
   by en.wikipedia.org    
  News & More:
Automated Quality Assurance for Magnetic Resonance Image with Extensions to Diffusion Tensor Imaging(.pdf)
   by scholar.lib.vt.edu    
A Real-Time Navigator Approach to Compensating for Motion Artifacts in Coronary Magnetic Resonance Angiography
   by www.cs.nyu.edu    
MRI Resources 
Implant and Prosthesis - Pediatric and Fetal MRI - Safety Products - RIS - MRI Training Courses - Spectroscopy pool
 
Half Scan
 
(HS) A method in which approximately one half of the acquisition matrix in the phase encoding direction is acquired. Half scan is possible because of symmetry in acquired data. Since negative values of phase encoded measurements are identical to corresponding positive values, only a little over half (more than 62.5%) of a scan actually needs to be acquired to replicate an entire scan. This results in a reduction in scan time at the expense of signal to noise ratio. The time reduction can be nearly a factor of two, but full resolution is maintained.
Half scan can be used when scan times are long, the signal to noise ratio is not critical and where full spatial resolution is required. Half scan is particularly appropriate for scans with a large field of view and relatively thick slices; and, in 3D scans with many slices. In some fast scanning techniques the use of Half scan enables a shorter TE thus improving contrast. For this reason, the Half scan parameter is located in the contrast menu.
More information about scan time reduction; see also partial fourier technique.
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Partial Averaging
 
Partial averaging is a scan time reduction method that takes advantage of the complex conjugate of the k-space. The number of phase encoding steps of the acquisition matrix are reduced in the phase encoding direction.
Since negative values of phase encoded measurements are identical to corresponding positive values, only a little over half (more than 62.5%) of a scan actually needs to be acquired to replicate an entire scan. This results in a reduction in scan time at the expense of signal to noise ratio. The time reduction can be nearly a factor of two, but full resolution is maintained.
Partial Fourier averaging can be used when scan times are long, the signal to noise ratio is not critical and where full spatial resolution is required. Partial averaging is particularly appropriate for scans with a large field of view and relatively thick slices; and in 3D scans with many slices. In some fast scanning techniques the use of partial averaging enables a shorter TE thus improving contrast.
Partial averaging is also called Fractional NEX, Half Scan, Half Fourier, Phase Conjugate Symmetry, Single Side Encoding.
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3 Dimensional Magnetic Resonance AngiographyInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
Intro, 
Overview, 
Types of, 
etc.MRI Resource Directory:
 - MRA -
 
(3D MRA) The 3D angiography technique can be applied to focus on fast flowing (arterial) blood and to visualize small tortuous vessels. 3D TOF images are less sensitive to turbulent flow artifacts. The advantage of this approach is that the signal, acquired from the entire volume has an increased signal to noise ratio. Slices are defined by a second phase encoded axis, which divides the volume into 'partitions'. 3D TOF MRA is acquired with 3D FT slabs or multiple overlapping thin 3D FT slabs (MOTSA) depending on the coverage required and the range of flow-velocities under examination.
Such 3D techniques can provide equal spatial resolution along all three axes, i.e. be 'isotropic', or the partition thickness can be greater or less than the in plane spatial resolution in which case can be said to be 'anisotropic'. The circle of Willis, anatomy as well as its fast arterial flow, lends itself well to both 3D TOF and 2D or 3D phase contrast angiography.
 
Images, Movies, Sliders:
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 Circle of Willis, Time of Flight, MIP  Open this link in a new window
    
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Further Reading:
  Basics:
CHAPTER 55: Ischemia
2003
Magnetic resonance angiography: current status and future directions
Wednesday, 9 March 2011   by www.jcmr-online.com    
MRI Resources 
Breast MRI - MRI Technician and Technologist Jobs - Hospitals - Mobile MRI - RIS - Blood Flow Imaging
 
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