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Parameters and Trade- offs Signal to noise ratio Signal to noise ratio Contrast to noise ratio Contrast to noise ratio Spatial resolution Spatial resolution.

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Presentation on theme: "Parameters and Trade- offs Signal to noise ratio Signal to noise ratio Contrast to noise ratio Contrast to noise ratio Spatial resolution Spatial resolution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parameters and Trade- offs Signal to noise ratio Signal to noise ratio Contrast to noise ratio Contrast to noise ratio Spatial resolution Spatial resolution Scan time Scan time Volume imaging Volume imaging

2 Introduction The choice of pulse sequence determines the weighting and the quality of the images as well as their sensitivity to pathology The choice of pulse sequence determines the weighting and the quality of the images as well as their sensitivity to pathology The timing parameters selected determines the weighting of the images The timing parameters selected determines the weighting of the images The quality of the image is controlled by The quality of the image is controlled by –Signal to noise ratio (SNR) –Contrast to noise ratio (CNR) –Spatial resolution –Scan time

3 Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)

4 Signal to noise ratio (SNR) SNR = amplitude of the signal / average amplitude of the noise SNR = amplitude of the signal / average amplitude of the noise The signal is the voltage induced in the receiver coil by the precession of the NMV The signal is the voltage induced in the receiver coil by the precession of the NMV The noise is generated by the presence of the patient in the magnet, and the background electrical noise of the system The noise is generated by the presence of the patient in the magnet, and the background electrical noise of the system

5 Noise Is constant for the patient Is constant for the patient Depends on the Depends on the –build of the patient –Area under examination –Inherent noise of the system Occurs at every frequency and is random in time Occurs at every frequency and is random in time

6 Signal Is cumulative and depends on many factors and can be altered Is cumulative and depends on many factors and can be altered Increasing the signal decreases the SNR Increasing the signal decreases the SNR Any factor that affects the signal amplitude in turn affects the SNR Any factor that affects the signal amplitude in turn affects the SNR

7 Factors that affect SNR Proton density of the area under examination Proton density of the area under examination Voxel volume Voxel volume TR, TE and flip angle TR, TE and flip angle NEX (number of excitations) NEX (number of excitations) Receive bandwidth Receive bandwidth Coil type Coil type

8 Proton density Areas with low proton density (PD) produce low signal and therefore low SNR Areas with low proton density (PD) produce low signal and therefore low SNR –E.g. Lungs, cortical bone Areas with high PD have high signal & high SNR Areas with high PD have high signal & high SNR –E.g. Bladder, renal pelvis

9 Voxel volume Large voxels have more nuclei therefore high signal and high SNR Large voxels have more nuclei therefore high signal and high SNR Small voxels have less nuclei therefore low signal and low SNR Small voxels have less nuclei therefore low signal and low SNR Any parameter that change the voxel volume changes the SNR Any parameter that change the voxel volume changes the SNR –Voxel volume = pixel area x slice thickness –Pixel area = FOV dimensions/matrix size

10 Voxel Volume Matrix slice Slice width voxel Small voxel few spins Large voxel more spins & high signal

11 TR, TE and flip angle Spin echo pulse sequences have more signal than gradient echo sequences, because; Spin echo pulse sequences have more signal than gradient echo sequences, because; –All the longitudinal magnetization is converted into transverse magnetization by 90 0 flip angle –Gradient echo pulse sequences only convert a portion of the longitudinal magnetization into transverse magnetization as the flip angle is not 90 0 –The rephasing pulse is more efficient at rephasing than the rephasing gradient of gradient echo sequences

12 The lower the flip angle, the lower the SNR The lower the flip angle, the lower the SNR Long TR increases SNR and a short TR reduces SNR (TR controls the amount of longitudinal magnetization that is allowed to recover) Long TR increases SNR and a short TR reduces SNR (TR controls the amount of longitudinal magnetization that is allowed to recover) Long TE reduces SNR and short TE increases SNR (TE controls the amount of transverse magnetization that is allowed to decay before an echo is collected) Long TE reduces SNR and short TE increases SNR (TE controls the amount of transverse magnetization that is allowed to decay before an echo is collected)

13 Number of signal averages (NSA) or NEX This is the number of times data is collected with the same amplitude of phase encoding slope. This is the number of times data is collected with the same amplitude of phase encoding slope. Increase in NEX increase the amount of data stored in each line of k-space. Increase in NEX increase the amount of data stored in each line of k-space. The data consists of both signal and noise. The data consists of both signal and noise. The noise increases randomly and the increase of signal is not random. The noise increases randomly and the increase of signal is not random. Therefore the increase of NEX increases the SNR by √2(=1.4) Therefore the increase of NEX increases the SNR by √2(=1.4)

14 NEX Vs SNR NEX SNR 3 2 1

15 Receive bandwidth This is the range of frequencies that are sampled during the application of readout gradient. This is the range of frequencies that are sampled during the application of readout gradient. Reducing the receive bandwidth results in less noise being sampled relative to signal. Reducing the receive bandwidth results in less noise being sampled relative to signal. Therefore SNR increases when receive bandwidth is decreased. Therefore SNR increases when receive bandwidth is decreased. But Sampling tine increases and increases the minimum TE available But Sampling tine increases and increases the minimum TE available Increases the chemical shift artefact Increases the chemical shift artefact

16 Bandwidth versus SNR Bandwidth +/- 16 kHz Bandwidth +/- 4 kHz noise signal SNR increases with decrease of bandwidth

17 Type of coil The type of coil used affects the amount of signal received and therefore the SNR The type of coil used affects the amount of signal received and therefore the SNR Volume coils with quadrature excitation increase SNR as two coils are used to receive signal Volume coils with quadrature excitation increase SNR as two coils are used to receive signal Surface coils placed close to the area under examination also increase the SNR Surface coils placed close to the area under examination also increase the SNR The use of the appropriate receiver coil plays extremely important role in optimizing SNR The use of the appropriate receiver coil plays extremely important role in optimizing SNR The volume of tissue imaged should optimally fill the sensitive volume of the coil The volume of tissue imaged should optimally fill the sensitive volume of the coil Large coils increase the likelihood of aliasing as tissue outside the FOV more likely to produce signal Large coils increase the likelihood of aliasing as tissue outside the FOV more likely to produce signal

18 RF coil types Commonly used Commonly used –Volume coil or Bird-cage coil –Surface coil –Phased array coil Specific Specific –Solenoidal coil –Helmholtz pair

19 How to increase SNR Use spin echo sequences where possible Use spin echo sequences where possible Try not to use a very short TR and a very long TE Try not to use a very short TR and a very long TE Use the correct coil and ensure that it is well tuned Use the correct coil and ensure that it is well tuned Use a coarse matrix Use a coarse matrix Use a large FOV Use a large FOV Select thick slices Select thick slices Use as many NEX as possible Use as many NEX as possible

20 FOV, Resolution & SNR FOV = 24cm High SNR FOV = 12 cm High resolution, low SNR

21 Slice thickness, Resolution & SNR 10 MM SLICE3 MM SLICE High resolution, low SNR

22 NEX & SNR NEX = 4, TIME= 6 MIN High SNR PARTIAL AVERAGING, TIME 56 S

23 Contrast to noise ratio (CNR)

24 CNR Defined as the difference in the SNR between two adjacent areas Defined as the difference in the SNR between two adjacent areas Controlled by the same factors that affect SNR Controlled by the same factors that affect SNR Most critical factor affecting image quality Most critical factor affecting image quality Determines the eyes ability to distinguish areas of high signal from areas of low signal Determines the eyes ability to distinguish areas of high signal from areas of low signal (Although the SNR of T2 weighted image is lower than T1 weighted image the ability to distinguish tumour from normal tissue is greater because of the high signal compared to the low signal of surrounding anatomy, i.e. CNR is higher) (Although the SNR of T2 weighted image is lower than T1 weighted image the ability to distinguish tumour from normal tissue is greater because of the high signal compared to the low signal of surrounding anatomy, i.e. CNR is higher)

25 Image contrast depends on: Image contrast depends on: –TR –TE –TI –Flip angle –Flow –Turbo factor (in fast spin echo) –T1 –T2 –Proton density –Magnetization transfer coherence (MTC)* * (see note)

26 Spatial Resolution This is the ability to distinguish between two points as separate and distinct. This is the ability to distinguish between two points as separate and distinct. Controlled by the voxel size Controlled by the voxel size Small voxels results in good spatial resolution Small voxels results in good spatial resolution The voxel size is affected by The voxel size is affected by –Slice thickness –FOV –Number of pixels or matrix The spatial resolution is increased by using rectangular FOV for rectangular anatomy The spatial resolution is increased by using rectangular FOV for rectangular anatomy Rectangular FOV reduces the scan time Rectangular FOV reduces the scan time

27 Matrix & resolution Matrix 256 x 256Matrix 512 x 256

28 Scan time Short scan times are important to minimize the possibility of patient movement Short scan times are important to minimize the possibility of patient movement Factors that affect the scan time are Factors that affect the scan time are –TR – time of each repetition –Number of phase encodings – number of lines of K space –NEX – number of times data is collected with the same phase encoding gradient

29 How to reduce the scan time Use the shortest TR possible Use the shortest TR possible Select the coarsest matrix possible Select the coarsest matrix possible Reduce the NEX to a minimum Reduce the NEX to a minimum

30 Trade-offs There are many trade-offs when selecting parameters within a pulse sequence There are many trade-offs when selecting parameters within a pulse sequence Ideally an image should have Ideally an image should have –high SNR, –Good spatial resolution –a very short scan time. But when improving one factor inevitably reduces one or both of other two But when improving one factor inevitably reduces one or both of other two

31 Decision making Selections depend on Selections depend on –The area to be examined –Condition and co-operation of the patient –Clinical throughput required

32 Tips to improve image quality Choose the correct coil Choose the correct coil Make sure that the patient is comfortable ad immobilized Make sure that the patient is comfortable ad immobilized Ascertain from the radiologist what sequences are required Ascertain from the radiologist what sequences are required SNR is the most important quality factor SNR is the most important quality factor Keep the scan time as short as possible Keep the scan time as short as possible

33 Volume Imaging Advantages to demonstrate very small lesions Advantages to demonstrate very small lesions Slice thickness can be reduced Slice thickness can be reduced Entire volume of tissue is excited & No slice gap Entire volume of tissue is excited & No slice gap SNR is superior SNR is superior Fewer NEX can be used Fewer NEX can be used Can look at anatomy in any plane Can look at anatomy in any plane

34 The scan times are relatively long therefore used in conjunction with faster pulse equences The scan times are relatively long therefore used in conjunction with faster pulse equences Slices are sectioned out by a series of phase encoding steps along the slice select axis Slices are sectioned out by a series of phase encoding steps along the slice select axis Therefore the scan time increases Therefore the scan time increases But as SNR is increased with increased number of slices the NEX can be reduced But as SNR is increased with increased number of slices the NEX can be reduced Isotropic (equal dimensions) pixel give equal resolution in any plane Isotropic (equal dimensions) pixel give equal resolution in any plane Scan time = TR x NEX x number of phase encodings x number of slice encodings

35 Manipulating SNR, image contrast, spatial resolution and scan time is a real art and takes some time and experience Manipulating SNR, image contrast, spatial resolution and scan time is a real art and takes some time and experience Even after many years you may get things wrong occasionally Even after many years you may get things wrong occasionally Perseverance is important to get good image quality Perseverance is important to get good image quality Conclusion


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