It is well appreciated that gradient-echo imaging techniques with short recovery times are highly sensitive to flow. This article analyzes the effect of in-plane flow in gradient recalled acquisition in the steady state (GRASS). It is shown that there is loss of signal due to velocity-dependent dephasing effects at velo cities as slow as 0.2 mm per second. It is also shown that striations appear in GRASS images of flow phantoms. This effect, which has not been previously described, arises from a modulation of K-space in the phase-encoding direction during the transient approach to steady state. Although these bands can give the appearance of flow lines, they are completely artifactual and not readily interpretable. Thus, the appearance of in-plane fluid movement in clinical GRASS images is a complex combination of signal loss due to dephasing and artifactual banding. Therefore, the interpretation of flow in GRASS images should be attempted only with caution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Structural Biology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Condensed Matter Physics