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Spiral pulse sequences

Spiral scanning on MRI is unlike spiral scanning on CT where the x-ray tube is continuously rotating and data is continuously being acquired. On MRI the word "spiral" refers to the pattern of sampling k-space. On conventional imaging sequences including spin echo and gradient echo and on fast imaging sequences, a line or multiple lines of k-space in the frequency direction are acquired consecutively. In spiral scanning, k-space is acquired in a spiral trajectory. The entire k-space can be acquired during a single acquisition, or interleaved using more than one acquisition. 

This sequence allows faster image acquisition than the fast echo sequences but is slower than echo-planar imaging. Spiral scanning tends to have fewer artifacts than echo-planar imaging since adjacent points in k-space are acquired in close temporal proximity. The figures to the right show how the acquisition of data in k-space is done with conventional sequences and with spiral scanning.

Imaging technology

Article information

rID: 23129
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Cases and figures

  • k-space diagram
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  • k-space diagram
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