Weighting is the term most frequently used to describe magnetic resonance pulse sequences and the concept most commonly used to relate image contrast to differences in magnetic resonance tissue properties. It is generally used in a qualitative sense with the single tissue property thought to be most responsible for the contrast used to describe the weighting of the image as a whole.
This article describes a quantitative approach for understanding the weighting of sequences and images, using filters and partial derivatives of signal with respect to logarithms of tissue property values. Univariate and multivariate models are described for several pulse sequences including methods for maximizing weighting and calculating both sequence and image weighting ratios.
The approach provides insights into difficulties associated with qualitative use of the concept of weighting and a quantitative basis for assessing the signal, contrast, and weighting of commonly used sequences and images.
From the Departments of *Radiology, and †Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA; ‡Department of Radiology, MRI Center, University of Miami, Miami, FL; and §Radnet, Inc, Los Angeles, CA.
Received for publication May 29, 2008; accepted May 14, 2009.
Reprints: Graeme M. Bydder, MB, ChB, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, 200 W Arbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92103-8226 (e-mail: email@example.com).