Development of a spiral spin- and gradient-echo (spiral-SAGE) approach for improved multi-parametric dynamic contrast neuroimaging

Ashley M. Stokes, Sudarshan Ragunathan, Ryan K. Robison, Alberto Fuentes, Laura C. Bell, John P. Karis, James G. Pipe, C. Chad Quarles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a spiral-based combined spin- and gradient-echo (spiral-SAGE) method for simultaneous dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE-MRI) and dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI). Methods: Using this sequence, we obtained gradient-echo TEs of 1.69 and 26 ms, a SE TE of 87.72 ms, with a TR of 1663 ms. Using an iterative SENSE reconstruction followed by deblurring, spiral-induced image artifacts were minimized. Healthy volunteer images are shown to demonstrate image quality using the optimized reconstruction, as well as for comparison with EPI-based SAGE. A bioreactor phantom was used to compare dynamic-contrast time courses with both spiral-SAGE and EPI-SAGE. A proof-of-concept cohort of patients with brain tumors shows the range of hemodynamic maps available using spiral-SAGE. Results: Comparison of spiral-SAGE images with conventional EPI-SAGE images illustrates substantial reductions of image distortion and artifactual image intensity variations. Bioreactor phantom data show similar dynamic contrast time courses between standard EPI-SAGE and spiral-SAGE for the second and third echoes, whereas first-echo data show improvements in quantifying T1 changes with shorter echo times. In a cohort of patients with brain tumors, spiral-SAGE–based perfusion and permeability maps are shown with comparison with the standard single-echo EPI perfusion map. Conclusion: Spiral-SAGE provides a substantial improvement for the assessment of perfusion and permeability by mitigating artifacts typically encountered with EPI and by providing a shorter echo time for improved characterization of permeability. Spiral-SAGE enables quantification of perfusion, permeability, and vessel architectural parameters, as demonstrated in brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3082-3095
Number of pages14
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • brain tumors
  • dynamic susceptibility contrast
  • perfusion imaging
  • spin and gradient echo
  • spiral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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