Multisite evaluations of a T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging (TRUST) MRI technique to measure brain oxygenation

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Venous oxygenation (Yv) is an important index of brain physiology and may be indicative of brain diseases. A T2-relaxation-under-spin-tagging (TRUST) MRI technique was recently developed to measure Yv. A multisite evaluation of this technique would be an important step toward broader availability and potential clinical utilizations of Yv measures.


TRUST MRI was performed on a total of 250 healthy subjects, 125 from the developer's site and 25 each from five other sites. All sites were equipped with a 3 Tesla (T) MRI of the same vendor. The estimated Yv and the standard error (SE) of the estimation εYv were compared across sites.


The averaged Yv and εYv across six sites were 61.1% ± 1.4% and 1.3% ± 0.2%, respectively. Multivariate regression analysis showed that the estimated Yv was dependent on age (P = 0.009) but not on performance site. In contrast, the SE of the Yv estimation was site-dependent (P = 0.024) but was less than 1.5%. Further analysis revealed that εYv was positively associated with the amount of subject motion (P < 0.001) but negatively associated with blood signal intensity (P < 0.001).


This work suggests that TRUST MRI can yield equivalent results of Yv estimation across different sites. Magn Reson Med 75:680–687, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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