Myocardial T1 mapping at 3.0 tesla using an inversion recovery spoiled gradient echo readout and bloch equation simulation with slice profile correction (BLESSPC) T1 estimation algorithm

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Abstract

Background:

To develop an accurate and precise myocardial T1 mapping technique using an inversion recovery spoiled gradient echo readout at 3.0 Tesla (T).

Theory and Methods:

The modified Look-Locker inversion-recovery (MOLLI) sequence was modified to use fast low angle shot (FLASH) readout, incorporating a BLESSPC (Bloch Equation Simulation with Slice Profile Correction) T1 estimation algorithm, for accurate myocardial T1 mapping. The FLASH-MOLLI with BLESSPC fitting was compared with different approaches and sequences with regards to T1 estimation accuracy, precision and image artifact based on simulation, phantom studies, and in vivo studies of 10 healthy volunteers and three patients at 3.0 Tesla.

Results:

The FLASH-MOLLI with BLESSPC fitting yields accurate T1 estimation (average error = −5.4 ± 15.1 ms, percentage error = −0.5% ± 1.2%) for T1 from 236–1852 ms and heart rate from 40–100 bpm in phantom studies. The FLASH-MOLLI sequence prevented off-resonance artifacts in all 10 healthy volunteers at 3.0T. In vivo, there was no significant difference between FLASH-MOLLI-derived myocardial T1 values and “ShMOLLI+IE” derived values (1458.9 ± 20.9 ms versus 1464.1 ± 6.8 ms, P = 0.50); However, the average precision by FLASH-MOLLI was significantly better than that generated by “ShMOLLI+IE” (1.84 ± 0.36% variance versus 3.57 ± 0.94%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion:

The FLASH-MOLLI with BLESSPC fitting yields accurate and precise T1 estimation, and eliminates banding artifacts associated with bSSFP at 3.0T. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;43:414–425.

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