PhD Dissertation Preliminary Examination

On Optimizing Contrast Quality and Acquisition Time of
SSFP-Sequence-Based techniques for Structural and Functional
MR Imaging via Extended Phase Graph (EPG) Analysis

Albert Kir

1:00pm Wednesday, 15 August 2012, ITE 325b

The extended phase graph (EPG) formalism provides an excellent description of the magnetization evolution (considering the magnetization as a vector quantity in space and its change through time) for steady-state free precession techniques (sequences). This dissertation demonstrates its accuracy by applying it to analyze/optimize structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging. An optimization framework for a structural imaging technique, Magnetization-Prepared RApid Gradient-Echo (MP-RAGE), based on the EPG algorithm is established for obtaining optimal images with respect to image signal strength, contrast, and acquisition time. In addition, a functional imaging technique, True Fast Imaging with Steady-state Precession (TruFISP) with improved quantitative sensitivity is developed using EPG analysis.

Committee: Drs. Joel M. Morris (chair and co-advisor), Alan McMillan (co-advisor), Rao Gullapalli (co-advosor), Janet Rutledge and Tulay Adali