MRI pulse sequence abbreviations

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 30 Nov 2022

This article contains a list of commonly and less commonly used MRI pulse sequence abbreviations and their meaning. If available, an explanation is included in a separate article.

  • image weighting

    • T1

    • T2 

    • T2*: T2 star

    • PD: proton density

    • DWI: diffusion-weighted imaging and ADC: apparent diffusion coefficient maps

    • SWI: susceptibility-weighted imaging

  • spin-echo sequences

    • SE: spin-echo

    • FSE: fast spin-echo or TSE: turbo spin-echo

      • SS-FSE: single shot FSE

    • BLADE: proprietary name for periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction (PROPELLER) in MRI systems from Siemens HealthcareTM 4

    • HASTE: half-Fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo

      • MS-EPI: multi shot echo planar imaging

    • RARE: rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement

    • TGSE: turbo gradient spin echo

    • 3D fast spin echo: isotropic 3D sequences, allowing multiplanar reformats

      • 3D MVOX: 3D multivoxel (Canon)

      • CUBE (GE): not an abbreviation

      • isoFSE (Hitachi)

      • SPACE: sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts using different flip angle evolution (Siemens)

      • VISTA: 3D volume isotropic turbo spin-echo acquisition (Philips)

  • gradient echo sequences (GRE)

    • SSFP: steady-state free precession

    • TRUFI: true fast imaging with steady-state free precession

    • true FISP: fast imaging with steady-state free precession

    • PSIF: reverse FISP

    • DESS: dual echo steady state

    • FLASH: fast low angle shot 

    • GRASS: gradient recalled acquisition in the steady-state

    • SPGR: spoiled gradient recalled

    • VIBE: volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination, volumetric interpolated brain examination

    • CISS: constructive interference in steady-state

    • FIESTA: fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition

    • MERGE: multiple echo recombined gradient echo

    • MEDIC: multi-echo data image combination

    • BOLD imaging: blood oxygen level-dependent imaging (see SS-EPI below)

    • SS-EPI: single shot echo planar imaging (preferred technique for BOLD imaging at 3 tesla and below) 

  • inversion recovery (IR) sequences:

    • FLAIR: fluid-attenuated inversion recovery

    • STIR: short tau inversion recovery

    • SPAIR: spectral attenuated inversion recovery

    • TIRM: turbo inversion recovery magnitude

  • MR angiography (MRA):

    • TOF: time of flight

    • MOTSA: multiple overlapping thin slab acquisitions

    • phase contrast

    • contrast enhanced MR angiography

    • TWIST: time-resolved angiography with stochastic trajectories

    • TRICKS: time-resolved imaging of contrast kinetics

    • TRAK: time-resolved angiography using keyhole

    • TRAQ: time-resolved acquisition

    • TRANCE: triggered angiography non-contrast enhanced

    • SWAN: susceptibility weighted angiography

  • in and out of phase imaging

  • fat suppressed imaging

  • MR spectroscopy:

    • PRESS: point resolved spectroscopy

    • STEAM: stimulated echo acquisition mode

  • general techniques:

    • CLEAR: Constant LEvel AppeaRance

See also

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