10 January 2019
Endogenous contrast T1ρ cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) can detect scar or infiltrative fibrosis in patients with ischemic or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. Existing 2D T1ρ techniques have limited spatial coverage or require multiple breath-holds. The purpose of this project was to develop an accelerated, free-breathing 3D T1ρ mapping sequence with whole left ventricle coverage using a multicoil, compressed sensing (CS) reconstruction technique for rapid reconstruction of undersampled k-space data.
We developed a cardiac- and respiratory-gated, free-breathing 3D T1ρ sequence and acquired data using a variable-density k-space sampling pattern (A = 3). The effect of the transient magnetization trajectory, incomplete recovery of magnetization between T1ρ-preparations (heart rate dependence), and k-space sampling pattern on T1ρ relaxation time error and edge blurring was analyzed using Bloch simulations for normal and chronically infarcted myocardium. Sequence accuracy and repeatability was evaluated using MnCl 2 phantoms with different T1ρ relaxation times and compared to 2D measurements. We further assessed accuracy and repeatability in healthy subjects and compared these results to 2D breath-held measurements.
The error in T1ρ due to incomplete recovery of magnetization between T1ρ-preparations was T1ρ healthy = 6.1% and T1ρ infarct = 10.8% at 60 bpm and T1ρ healthy = 13.2% and T1ρ infarct = 19.6% at 90 bpm. At a heart rate of 60 bpm, error from the combined effects of readout-dependent magnetization transients, k-space undersampling and reordering was T1ρ healthy = 12.6% and T1ρ infarct = 5.8%. CS reconstructions had improved edge sharpness (blur metric = 0.15) compared to inverse Fourier transform reconstructions (blur metric = 0.48). There was strong agreement between the mean T1ρ estimated from the 2D and accelerated 3D data ( R 2 = 0.99; P < 0.05) acquired on the MnCl 2 phantoms. The mean R1ρ estimated from the accelerated 3D sequence was highly correlated with MnCl 2 concentration (R 2 = 0.99; P < 0.05). 3D T1ρ acquisitions were successful in all human subjects. There was no significant bias between undersampled 3D T1ρ and breath-held 2D T1ρ (mean bias = 0.87) and the measurements had good repeatability (COV 2D = 6.4% and COV 3D = 7.1%).
This is the first report of an accelerated, free-breathing 3D T1ρ mapping of the left ventricle. This technique may improve non-contrast myocardial tissue characterization in patients with heart disease in a scan time appropriate for patients.