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Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine    [3 followers]  Follow
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ISSN (Print) 0968-5243 - ISSN (Online) 1352-8661
• Absolute quantification of perfusion by dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI using Bookend and VASO steady-state CBV calibration: a comparison with pseudo-continuous ASL
• Abstract: Objective Dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI) tends to return elevated estimates of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral blood volume (CBV). In this study, subject-specific calibration factors (CFs), based on steady-state CBV measurements, were applied to rescale the absolute level of DSC-MRI CBF. Materials and methods Twenty healthy volunteers were scanned in a test–retest approach. Independent CBV measurements for calibration were accomplished using a T1-based contrast agent steady-state method (referred to as Bookend), as well as a blood-nulling vascular space occupancy (VASO) approach. Calibrated DSC-MRI was compared with pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (pCASL). Results For segmented grey matter (GM) regions of interests (ROIs), pCASL-based CBF was 63 ± 11 ml/(min 100 g) (mean ± SD). Nominal CBF from non-calibrated DSC-MRI was 277 ± 61 ml/(min 100 g), while calibrations resulted in 56 ± 23 ml/(min 100 g) (Bookend) and 52 ± 16 ml/(min 100 g) (VASO). Calibration tended to eliminate the overestimation, although the repeatability was generally moderate and the correlation between calibrated DSC-MRI and pCASL was low (r < 0.25). However, using GM instead of WM ROIs for extraction of CFs resulted in improved repeatability. Conclusion Both calibration approaches provided reasonable absolute levels of GM CBF, although the calibration methods suffered from low signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in weak repeatability and difficulties in showing high degrees of correlation with pCASL measurements.
PubDate: 2014-02-26

• Delayed hepatic signal recovery on ferucarbotran-enhanced magnetic resonance images in a rat model with regional liver irradiation
• Abstract: Object To determine whether superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO)-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging could demonstrate signal recovery delay in irradiated areas of rat livers. We also investigated the relationship between MR imaging and histological findings. Materials and methods Twelve rats received 20 μmol iron/kg of SPIO followed by X-irradiation to the right upper abdomen 4 h later. Radiation doses were 0, 50 and 70 Gy. Hepatic signals were assessed on unenhanced T 2 * -weighted images for up to 7 days using a 9.4-Tesla scanner. The livers were excised on day 7 and examined histologically. Results Normalized relative signal intensity of 70 Gy-irradiated right liver lobe (2.36 ± 0.22) and 50 Gy-irradiated right liver lobe (2.37 ± 0.46) was significantly lower than that of the non-irradiated right liver lobe (4.04 ± 0.28) on day 7, respectively (p < 0.05). Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between relative intensity of the liver and the number of hepatic iron deposits was −0.588 (p < 0.01). Conclusion Superparamagnetic iron oxide-enhanced MR imaging could demonstrate signal recovery delay in irradiated areas of rat livers. It seems that the signal recovery delay in irradiated areas was due to SPIO-derived iron deposition. Hepatic signal recovery could be a novel diagnostic marker for delineation of irradiated areas.
PubDate: 2014-02-26

• Pilot study of Iopamidol-based quantitative pH imaging on a clinical 3T MR scanner
• Abstract: Objective The objective of this study was to show the feasibility to perform Iopamidol-based pH imaging via clinical 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging with pulse train presaturation. Materials and methods The pulse train presaturation scheme of a CEST sequence was investigated for Iopamidol-based pH measurements using a 3T magnetic resonance (MR) scanner. The CEST sequence was applied to eight tubes filled with 100-mM Iopamidol solutions with pH values ranging from 5.6 to 7.0. Calibration curves for pH quantification were determined. The dependence of pH values on the concentration of Iopamidol was investigated. An in vivo measurement was performed in one patient who had undergone a previous contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan with Iopamidol. The pH values of urine measured with CEST MRI and with a pH meter were compared. Results In the measured pH range, pH imaging using CEST imaging with pulse train presaturation was possible. Dependence between the pH value and the concentration of Iopamidol was not observed. In the in vivo investigation, the pH values in the human bladder measured by the Iopamidol CEST sequence and in urine were consistent. Conclusion Our study shows the feasibility of using CEST imaging with Iopamidol for quantitative pH mapping in vitro and in vivo on a 3T MR scanner.
PubDate: 2014-02-26

• Quantitative lung ventilation using Fourier decomposition MRI; comparison and initial study
• Abstract: Objective The Fourier decomposition (FD) method is a noninvasive method for assessing ventilation and perfusion-related information in the lungs, but the lack of quantifiable values is a drawback. We demonstrate a novel technique for quantification of the FD ventilation maps, compare it to two published methods, and show results from both healthy volunteers and patients diagnosed with lung cancer. Materials and methods We quantified the standard FD ventilation images by utilizing additional information, i.e., the zero-frequency component image, which is also obtained from the Fourier analysis. This image acts as a baseline for the changes recorded in the FD ventilation image and can therefore be used to calculate the ventilation. Using this technique, we compared the ventilation values from ten healthy volunteers and ten patients to two previously published methods for quantitative ventilation assessment. Results All methods showed good overall agreement (mean difference between the methods was 14–38 ml/min). The mean minute ventilation for the FD method was calculated to be 693 ml/min for a 2D slice, which is in the expected range. Conclusion The zero-frequency component image can be used as a baseline to quantify the FD ventilation maps. Our initial study showed good agreement with published methods in healthy volunteers, but less so in patients with lung cancer.
PubDate: 2014-02-12

• Two-dimensional accelerated MP-RAGE imaging with flexible linear reordering
• Abstract: Object Implementation of an accelerated Magnetization Prepared RApid Gradient Echo (MP-RAGE) sequence for T1 weighted neuroimaging; exploiting modern MRI technologies to minimize scan time while preserving the image quality. Materials and methods A custom MP-RAGE sequence was implemented on a state-of-the-art 3T MR scanner equipped with a 32-channel receiver array head coil. The sequence utilized a shifted CAIPIRINHA k y –k z under-sampling pattern combined with elliptical scanning and a two-dimensional view ordering scheme to achieve high parallel imaging acceleration factors at maintained image contrast. Results It could be shown that MP-RAGE accelerated in two k-space directions outperforms single direction acceleration, which is the common practice with standard view ordering. Applying the CAIPIRINHA technique in conjunction with elliptical scanning further increased this benefit. Conclusion By combining MP-RAGE with CAIPIRINHA sampling and elliptical scanning, the scan time can be reduced from 4–5 min to 2–3 min with insignificant reduction in image quality.
PubDate: 2014-02-08

• 3T Renal 23Na-MRI: effects of desmopressin in patients with central diabetes insipidus
• Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this prospective study was to assess physiologic changes in the renal corticomedullary 23Na-concentration ([23Na]) gradient with 23Na-MRI at 3.0T in patients with central diabetes insipidus (CDI) before and after intranasal administration of 20 μg desmopressin (DDAVP). Methods and materials Four patients with CDI (all male, mean age 60.2 years) were included in this IRB-approved study. For 23Na-imaging, a 3D density adapted, radial GRE-sequence (TE = 0.55 ms; TR = 120 ms; projections = 8,000; spatial resolution = 5 × 5 × 5 mm3) was used in combination with a dedicated 23Na-coil and reference phantoms. The corticomedullary [23Na] gradient (in mmol/L/mm) was calculated pixel-by-pixel along a linear region-of-interest (ROI) spanning from the renal cortex in the direction of the medulla. Mean ± SDs of [23Na] were calculated for each patient as well as for the entire group. Results Mean [23Na] increased along the corticomedullary gradient from the cortex (pre-DDAVP 38.0 ± 6.3 mmol/L vs. post-DDAVP 30.7 ± 3.5 mmol/L) to the medulla (pre-DDAVP 71.6 ± 14.8 mmol/L vs. post-DDAVP 59.7 ± 10.8 mmol/L). The overall mean decrease of [23Na] after DDAVP administration was 17.1 ± 1.1 %. Conclusion 23Na-MRI with state-of-the-art techniques at 3T depicts the physiologic renal response to the administration of desmopressin in patients with central diabetes insipidus.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Direct cerebral and cardiac 17O-MRI at 3 Tesla: initial results at natural abundance
• Abstract: Purpose To establish direct 17O-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for metabolic imaging at a clinical field strength of 3 T. Methods An experimental setup including a surface coil and transmit/receive switch was constructed. Natural abundance in vivo brain images of a volunteer were acquired with a radial three-dimensional (3D) sequence in the visual cortex and in the heart with electrocardiogram (ECG)-gating. Results In the brain, a signal-to-noise ratio of 36 was found at a nominal resolution of (5.6 mm)3, and a transverse relaxation time of T2* = (1.9 ± 0.2) ms was obtained. In the heart 17O images were acquired with a temporal resolution of 200 ms. Conclusion Cerebral and cardiac 17O-MRI at natural abundance is feasible at 3 T.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Measurement of anesthetic uptake kinetics in the brain using 19F MRI and cross-correlation analysis after pulsed application
• Abstract: Object We present a pilot study based on 19F-MRI to measure fast and slow wash-in and wash-out kinetics of volatile anesthetics in pig brain. Method The periodic administration of anesthetics in pulsed mode is used to enhance the sensitivity of the anesthetic concentration detection by 19F-MRI signal. Temporal correlation analysis allows mapping the kinetics time constants. Results The clear correlation response to anesthetics concentration changes was found in the brain region in comparison with fatty tissues. Conclusion The methodology may yield important pharmacological findings on regional effect of the anesthetics in brain and be a step towards human studies.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Measurement techniques for magnetic resonance imaging of fast relaxing nuclei
• Abstract: Abstract In this review article, techniques for sodium (23Na) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are presented. These techniques can also be used to image other nuclei with short relaxation times (e.g., 39K, 35Cl, 17O). Twisted projection imaging, density-adapted 3D projection reconstruction, and 3D cones are preferred because of uniform k-space sampling and ultra-short echo times. Sampling density weighted apodization can be applied if intrinsic filtering is desired. This approach leads to an increased signal-to-noise ratio compared to postfiltered acquisition in cases of short readout durations relative to T 2 * relaxation time. Different MR approaches for anisotropic resolution are presented, which are important for imaging of thin structures such as myocardium, cartilage, and skin. The third part of this review article describes different methods to put more weighting either on the intracellular or the extracellular sodium signal by means of contrast agents, relaxation-weighted imaging, or multiple-quantum filtering.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Exploring and enhancing relaxation-based sodium MRI contrast
• Abstract: Object Sodium MRI is typically concerned with measuring tissue sodium concentration. This requires the minimization of relaxation weighting. However, 23Na relaxation may itself be interesting to explore, given an underlying mechanism (i.e. the electric-quadrupole-moment–electric-field-gradient interaction) that differs from 1H. A new sodium sequence was developed to enhance 23Na relaxation contrast without decreasing signal-to-noise ratio. Materials and Methods The new sequence, labeled Projection Acquisition in the steady-state with Coherent MAgNetization (PACMAN), uses gradient refocusing of transverse magnetization following readout, a short repetition time, and a long radiofrequency excitation pulse. It was developed using simulation, verified in model environments (saline and agar), and evaluated in the brain of three healthy adult volunteers. Results Projection Acquisition in the steady-state with Coherent MAgNetization generates a large positive contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between saline and agar, matching simulation-based design. In addition to enhanced CNR between cerebral spinal fluid and brain tissue in vivo, PACMAN develops substantial contrast between gray and white matter. Further simulation shows that PACMAN has a ln(T 2f/T 1) contrast dependence (where T 2f is the fast component of 23Na T 2), as well as residual quadrupole interaction dependence. Conclusion The relaxation dependence of PACMAN sodium MRI may provide contrast related to macromolecular tissue structure.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Sodium (23Na) ultra-short echo time imaging in the human brain using a 3D-Cones trajectory
• Abstract: Object Sodium magnetic resonance imaging (23Na-MRI) of the brain has shown changes in 23Na signal as a hallmark of various neurological diseases such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. To improve scan times and image quality, we have implemented the 3D-Cones (CN) sequence for in vivo 23Na brain MRI. Materials and methods Using signal-to-noise (SNR) as a measurement of sequence performance, CN is compared against more established 3D-radial k-space sampling schemes featuring cylindrical stack-of-stars (SOS) and 3D-spokes kooshball (KB) trajectories, on five healthy volunteers in a clinical setting. Resolution was evaluated by simulating the point-spread-functions (PSFs) and experimental measures on a phantom. Results All sequences were shown to have a similar SNR arbitrary units (AU) of 6–6.5 in brain white matter, 7–9 in gray matter and 17–18 AU in cerebrospinal fluid. SNR between white and gray matter were significantly different for KB and CN (p = 0.046 and <0.001 respectively), but not for SOS (p = 0.1). Group mean standard deviations were significantly smaller for CN (p = 0.016). Theoretical full-width at half-maximum linewidth of the PSF for CN is broadened by only 0.1, compared to 0.3 and 0.8 pixels for SOS and KB respectively. Actual image resolution is estimated as 8, 9 and 6.3 mm for SOS, KB and CN respectively. Conclusion The CN sequence provides stronger tissue contrast than both SOS and KB, with more reproducible SNR measurements compared to KB. For CN, a higher true resolution in the same amount of time with no significant trade-off in SNR is achieved. CN is therefore more suitable for 23Na-MRI in the brain.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• In vivo chlorine and sodium MRI of rat brain at 21.1 T
• Abstract: Object MR imaging of low-gamma nuclei at the ultrahigh magnetic field of 21.1 T provides a new opportunity for understanding a variety of biological processes. Among these, chlorine and sodium are attracting attention for their involvement in brain function and cancer development. Materials and methods MRI of 35Cl and 23Na were performed and relaxation times were measured in vivo in normal rat (n = 3) and in rat with glioma (n = 3) at 21.1 T. The concentrations of both nuclei were evaluated using the center-out back-projection method. Results T 1 relaxation curve of chlorine in normal rat head was fitted by bi-exponential function (T 1a = 4.8 ms (0.7) T 1b = 24.4 ± 7 ms (0.3) and compared with sodium (T 1 = 41.4 ms). Free induction decays (FID) of chlorine and sodium in vivo were bi-exponential with similar rapidly decaying components of $T_{{2{\text{a}}}}^{*} = 0.4$  ms and $T_{{2{\text{a}}}}^{*} = 0.53$  ms, respectively. Effects of small acquisition matrix and bi-exponential FIDs were assessed for quantification of chlorine (33.2 mM) and sodium (44.4 mM) in rat brain. Conclusion The study modeled a dramatic effect of the bi-exponential decay on MRI results. The revealed increased chlorine concentration in glioma (~1.5 times) relative to a normal brain correlates with the hypothesis asserting the importance of chlorine for tumor progression.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Visualization of immune cell infiltration in experimental viral myocarditis by 19F MRI in vivo
• Abstract: Objective This paper introduces a new approach permitting for the first time a specific, non-invasive diagnosis of myocarditis by visualizing the infiltration of immune cells into the myocardium. Materials and methods The feasibility of this approach is shown in a murine model of viral myocarditis. Our study uses biochemically inert perfluorocarbons (PFCs) known to be taken up by circulating monocytes/macrophages after intravenous injection. Results In vivo 19F MRI at 9.4 T demonstrated that PFC-loaded immune cells infiltrate into inflamed myocardial areas. Because of the lack of any fluorine background in the body, detected 19F signals of PFCs are highly specific as confirmed ex vivo by flow cytometry and histology. Conclusion Since PFCs are a family of compounds previously used clinically as blood substitutes, the technique described in our paper holds the potential as a new imaging modality for the diagnosis of myocarditis in man.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Chlorine and sodium chemical shift imaging during acute stroke in a rat model at 9.4 Tesla
• Abstract: Object A triple-resonant coil setup with an 1H linear resonator and a double-tuned 23Na/35Cl surface coil was used to study the evolution of T 2 * and M 0 for 35Cl and 23Na in a rat stroke model during the acute phase at 9.4 Tesla. Materials and methods In vivo measurements were performed 1.5–7 h after onset of stroke (n = 2), ten days after onset (n = 1) and on a healthy control rat by a chemical shift imaging sequence. Measurement times were 15 min (23Na) and 57 min (35Cl). Results The relaxation times ten days after onset [T 2 *  = 14.3 ± 1.8 ms (23Na) and 6.0 ± 1.3 ms (35Cl)] are clearly prolonged in comparison to a healthy rat [T 2 *  = 4.8 ± 0.6 ms (23Na) and 2.1 ± 0.3 ms (35Cl)] and the acute phase [T 2 *  = 5.6 ± 0.2 ms (23Na) and 1.9 ± 0.1 ms (35Cl)]. Conclusion M 0 in the infarcted region clearly rises later and slower for chlorine than for sodium. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first combined proton, sodium, and chlorine measurements in an animal stroke model during the acute phase.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Topography of brain sodium accumulation in progressive multiple sclerosis
• Abstract: Object Sodium accumulation is involved in neuronal injury occurring in multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to assess sodium accumulation in progressive MS, known to suffer from severe neuronal injury. Materials and methods 3D-23Na-MRI was obtained on a 3T-MR-scanner in 20 progressive MS patients [11 primary-progressive (PPMS) and nine secondary-progressive (SPMS)] and 15 controls. Total sodium concentrations (TSC) within grey matter (GM), normal-appearing white matter (WM) and lesions were extracted. Statistical mapping analyses of TSC abnormalities were also performed. Results Progressive MS patients presented higher GM–TSC values (48.8 ± 3.1 mmol/l wet tissue vol, p < 0.001) and T2lesions-TSC values (50.9 ± 2.2 mmol/l wet tissue vol, p = 0.01) compared to GM and WM of controls. Statistical mapping analysis showed TSC increases in PPMS patients confined to motor and somatosensory cortices, prefrontal cortices, pons and cerebellum. In SPMS, TSC increases were associated with areas involving: primary motor, premotor and somatosensory cortices; prefrontal, cingulate and visual cortices; the corpus callosum, thalami, brainstem and cerebellum. Anterior prefrontal and premotor cortices TSC were correlated with disability. Conclusion Sodium accumulation is present in progressive MS patients, more restricted to the motor system in PPMS and more widespread in SPMS. Local brain sodium accumulation appears as a promising marker to monitor patients with progressive MS.
PubDate: 2014-02-01

• Automated segmentation and volumetric analysis of renal cortex, medulla, and pelvis based on non-contrast-enhanced T1- and T2-weighted MR images
• Abstract: Object The aim of our study was to enable automatic volumetry of the entire kidneys as well as their internal structures (cortex, medulla, and pelvis) from native magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data sets. Materials and methods Segmentation of the entire kidneys and differentiation of their internal structures were performed in 12 healthy volunteers based on non-contrast-enhanced T1- and T2-weighted MR images. Two data sets (each acquired in one breath-hold) were co-registered using a rigid registration algorithm compensating for possible breathing-related displacements. An automatic algorithm based on thresholding and shape detection segmented the kidneys into their compartments and was compared to a manual labeling procedure. Results The resulting kidney volumes of the automated segmentation correlated well with those created manually (R 2 = 0.96). Average volume errors were determined to be 4.97 ± 4.08 % (entire kidney parenchyma), 7.03 ± 5.56 % (cortex), 12.33 ± 7.35 % (medulla), and 17.57 ± 14.47 % (pelvis). The variation of the kidney volume resulting from the automatic algorithm was found to be 4.76 % based on the measuring of one volunteer with three independent examinations. Conclusion The results demonstrate the feasibility of an accurate and repeatable automatic segmentation of the kidneys and their internal structures from non-contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance images.
PubDate: 2014-01-30

• 30 years of sodium/X-nuclei magnetic resonance imaging
• Abstract: Abstract In principle, all nuclei with nonzero spin can be employed for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Special scanner hardware and MR sequences are required to select the nucleus-specific frequency and to enable imaging with “sufficient” signal-to-noise ratio. This Special Issue starts with an overview of different nuclei that can be used for MRI today, followed by a review article about techniques required for imaging of quadrupolar nuclei with short relaxation times. Sequence developments to improve image quality and applications on different organs and diseases are presented for different nuclei (23Na, 35Cl, 17O, and 19F), with a focus on imaging at natural abundance.
PubDate: 2014-01-22

• High-resolution 3D whole-heart coronary MRA: a study on the combination of data acquisition in multiple breath-holds and 1D residual respiratory motion compensation
• Abstract: Object To study a scan protocol for coronary magnetic resonance angiography based on multiple breath-holds featuring 1D motion compensation and to compare the resulting image quality to a navigator-gated free-breathing acquisition. Image reconstruction was performed using L1 regularized iterative SENSE. Materials and methods The effects of respiratory motion on the Cartesian sampling scheme were minimized by performing data acquisition in multiple breath-holds. During the scan, repetitive readouts through a k-space center were used to detect and correct the respiratory displacement of the heart by exploiting the self-navigation principle in image reconstruction. In vivo experiments were performed in nine healthy volunteers and the resulting image quality was compared to a navigator-gated reference in terms of vessel length and sharpness. Results Acquisition in breath-hold is an effective method to reduce the scan time by more than 30 % compared to the navigator-gated reference. Although an equivalent mean image quality with respect to the reference was achieved with the proposed method, the 1D motion compensation did not work equally well in all cases. Conclusion In general, the image quality scaled with the robustness of the motion compensation. Nevertheless, the featured setup provides a positive basis for future extension with more advanced motion compensation methods.
PubDate: 2014-01-09

• Automated flow quantification for spin labeling MR imaging
• Abstract: Objective The Time-Spatial Labeling Inversion Pulse (Time-SLIP) technique enables tracing of regional fluid flows without the use of contrast medium. The objective of this study is to quantify automatically slow and complex fluid flows using the Time-SLIP technique. Materials and methods Series images were acquired with a 1.5-T MRI scanner using the Time-SLIP technique with half-Fourier fast spin-echo (FSE) and balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) sequences. In this method, labeled fluid regions in images were automatically detected based on image processing techniques for a given point. The flow velocity of the labeled fluid region was calculated using regression fitting for the region’s position. To evaluate our method, constant and non-constant laminar flows in a water phantom were studied. In addition, volunteer experiments were conducted to quantify the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Results In the constant flow experiments the correlation factor r 2 between the flow velocity calculated from our method and the laminar peak velocity calculated from the volumetric flow rate was 0.9992 for the FSE sequence and 0.9982 for the bSSFP sequence. In the non-constant flow study, the flow velocity was calculated accurately for any period inversion time even when the flow velocity was changed, and the quantification error was negligible. In the volunteer experiments, r 2 between the flow velocity calculated by the proposed method and that obtained by manual annotation was 0.9383. Conclusion The experimental results showed that our proposed method can quickly and accurately provide information on flow velocities especially for slower and complex flows. Our method is, therefore, expected to be useful in diagnostic support systems.
PubDate: 2013-12-31

• Characterizing cerebral oxygen metabolism employing oxygen-17 MRI/MRS at high fields
• Abstract: Abstract This article provides a comprehensive overview of oxygen (17O) magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging, including the advantages and challenges offered by the different methods developed thus far. The physiological role and relevance of oxygen, and its participation in aerobic metabolism, are addressed to emphasize the importance of the investigations and the efforts related to these developments. Furthermore, a number of methods employed in the determination of the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen in neural cells will be presented, focusing primarily on methodologies enabling absolute quantification.
PubDate: 2013-12-15

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