Fast radio-frequency enforced steady state (FRESS) spin echo MRI for quantitative T 2 mapping: Minimizing the apparent repetition time (TR) dependence for fast T 2 measurement
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. NMR in Biomedicine
(Impact Factor: 3.04).
02/2012; 25(2):189-94. DOI: 10.1002/nbm.1729
Transverse relaxation time (T(2)) is a basic but very informative MRI parameter, widely used in imaging to examine a host of diseases, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, and tumor. However, short repetition time (TR) is often used to minimize scan time, which may introduce non-negligible errors in T(2) measurement. Specifically, due to the use of refocusing pulse, the steady state magnetization depends not only on TR but also on the TE. Hence, if the TE dependence is not properly accounted for, it may be mistaken as T(2)-induced signal attenuation, leading to non-negligible T(2) underestimation. Our study proposed a fast radio-frequency enforced steady state (FRESS) spin echo (SE) MRI sequence, which saturates the magnetization after the echo and ensures a TE-independent steady state. The proposed FRESS-SE MRI was evaluated with numerical simulation, implemented with echo planar imaging readout, and validated by both phantom and in vivo experiments. In summary, FRESS-SE T(2) MRI technique was developed for fast and accurate T(2) imaging, suitable for in vivo applications.
Available from: Phillip Zhe Sun
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ABSTRACT: Chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI is an emerging imaging technique capable of detecting dilute proteins/peptides and microenvironmental properties, with promising in vivo applications. However, chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI contrast is complex, varying not only with the labile proton concentration and exchange rate, but also with experimental conditions such as field strength and radiofrequency (RF) irradiation scheme. Furthermore, the optimal RF irradiation power depends on the exchange rate, which must be estimated in order to optimize the chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI experiments. Although methods including numerical fitting with modified Bloch-McConnell equations, quantification of exchange rate with RF saturation time and power (QUEST and QUESP), have been proposed to address this relationship, they require multiple-parameter non-linear fitting and accurate relaxation measurement. Our work extended the QUEST algorithm with ratiometric analysis (QUESTRA) that normalizes the magnetization transfer ratio at labile and reference frequencies, which effectively eliminates the confounding relaxation and RF spillover effects. Specifically, the QUESTRA contrast approaches its steady state mono-exponentially at a rate determined by the reverse exchange rate (k(ws) ), with little dependence on bulk water T(1) , T(2) , RF power and chemical shift. The proposed algorithm was confirmed numerically, and validated experimentally using a tissue-like phantom of serially titrated pH compartments.
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ABSTRACT: Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging is sensitive to dilute proteins/peptides and microenvironmental properties, and has been increasingly evaluated for molecular imaging and in vivo applications. However, the experimentally measured CEST effect depends on the CEST agent concentration, exchange rate and relaxation time. In addition, there may be non-negligible direct radio-frequency (RF) saturation effects, particularly severe for diamagnetic CEST (DIACEST) agents owing to their relatively small chemical shift difference from that of the bulk water resonance. As such, the commonly used asymmetry analysis only provides CEST-weighted information. Recently, it has been shown with numerical simulation that both labile proton concentration and exchange rate can be determined by evaluating the RF power dependence of DIACEST effect. To validate the simulation results, we prepared and imaged two CEST phantoms: a pH phantom of serially titrated pH at a fixed creatine concentration and a concentration phantom of serially varied creatine concentration titrated to the same pH, and solved the labile proton fraction ratio and exchange rate per-pixel. For the concentration phantom, we showed that the labile proton fraction ratio is proportional to the CEST agent concentration with negligible change in the exchange rate. Additionally, we found the exchange rate of the pH phantom is dominantly base-catalyzed with little difference in the labile proton fraction ratio. In summary, our study demonstrated quantitative DIACEST MRI, which remains promising to augment the conventional CEST-weighted MRI analysis. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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ABSTRACT: Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast mechanism that can detect dilute CEST agents and microenvironmental properties, with a host of promising applications. Experimental measurement of the CEST effect is complex, and depends on not only CEST agent concentration and exchange rate, but also experimental parameters such as RF irradiation amplitude and scheme. Although echo planar imaging (EPI) has been increasingly used for CEST MRI, the relationship between CEST effect and repetition time (TR), RF irradiation duty cycle (DC) and EPI flip angle (α) has not been fully evaluated and optimized to enhance CEST MRI sensitivity. In addition, our study evaluated gradient echo CEST-EPI by quantifying the CEST effect and its signal-to-noise ratio per unit time (SNRput) as functions of TR, DC and α. We found that CEST effect increased with TR and DC but decreased with α. Importantly, we found that SNRput peaked at intermediate TRs of about twice the T1 and α, at approximately 75°, and increased with RF DC. The simulation results were validated using a dual-pH creatine-gel CEST phantom. In summary, our study provides a useful framework for optimizing CEST MRI experiments.
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