MRI pulse sequence abbreviations

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 04 Sep 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:
    • STIR: short tau inversion recovery
    • FLAIR: fluid-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

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Coronal FIESTA sequence through brain stem
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Axial DWI of prostate
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Axial ADC of prostate
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.