Direct in vitro comparison of six three-dimensional positive contrast methods for susceptibility marker imaging

Evert Jan P.A. Vonken, Michael Schär, Jing Yu, Chris J.G. Bakker, Matthias Stuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose To compare different techniques for positive contrast imaging of susceptibility markers with MRI for three-dimensional visualization. As several different techniques have been reported, the choice of the suitable method depends on its properties with regard to the amount of positive contrast and the desired background suppression, as well as other imaging constraints needed for a specific application. Materials and Methods Six different positive contrast techniques are investigated for their ability to image at 3 Tesla a single susceptibility marker in vitro. The white marker method (WM), susceptibility gradient mapping (SGM), inversion recovery with on-resonant water suppression (IRON), frequency selective excitation (FSX), fast low flip-angle positive contrast SSFP (FLAPS), and iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) were implemented and investigated. Results The different methods were compared with respect to the volume of positive contrast, the product of volume and signal intensity, imaging time, and the level of background suppression. Quantitative results are provided, and strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches are discussed. Conclusion The appropriate choice of positive contrast imaging technique depends on the desired level of background suppression, acquisition speed, and robustness against artifacts, for which in vitro comparative data are now available. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-357
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • off resonance
  • positive contrast
  • susceptibility imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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