Relaxation effects in the quantification of fat using gradient echo imaging

Mark Bydder, Takeshi Yokoo, Gavin Hamilton, Michael S. Middleton, Alyssa D. Chavez, Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, Joel E. Lavine, Claude B. Sirlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

332 Scopus citations


Quantification of fat has been investigated using images acquired from multiple gradient echos. The evolution of the signal with echo time and flip angle was measured in phantoms of known fat and water composition and in 21 research subjects with fatty liver. Data were compared to different models of the signal equation, in which each model makes different assumptions about the T1 and/or T2* relaxation effects. A range of T1, T2*, fat fraction and number of echos was investigated to cover situations of relevance to clinical imaging. Results indicate that quantification is most accurate at low flip angles (to minimize T1 effects) with a small number of echos (to minimize spectral broadening effects). At short echo times, the spectral broadening effects manifest as a short apparent T2 for the fat component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-359
Number of pages13
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Dixon
  • Fat quantification
  • T1 relaxation
  • T2* relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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