Knee dGEMRIC at 7 T: Comparison against 1.5 T and evaluation of T1-mapping methods

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Abstract

Background: dGEMRIC (delayed Gadolinium Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Image of Cartilage) is a well-established technique for cartilage quality assessment in osteoarthritis at clinical field strengths. The method is robust, but requires injection of contrast agent and a cumbersome examination procedure. New non-contrast-agent-based techniques for cartilage quality assessment are currently being developed at 7 T. However, dGEMRIC remains an important reference technique during this development. The aim of this work was to compare T1 mapping for dGEMRIC at 7 T and 1.5 T, and to evaluate three T1-mapping methods at 7 T. Methods: The knee of 10 healthy volunteers and 9 patients with early signs of cartilage degradation were examined at 1.5 T and 7 T after a single (one) contrast agent injection (Gd-(DTPA)2-). Inversion recovery (IR) sequences were acquired at both field strengths, and at 7 T variable flip angle (VFA) and Look-Locker (LL) sequences were additionally acquired. T1 maps were calculated and average T1 values were estimated within superficial and deep regions-of-interest (ROIs) in the lateral and medial condyles, respectively. Results: T1 values were 1.8 (1.4-2.3) times longer at 7 T. A strong correlation was detected between 1.5 T and 7 T T1 values (r = 0.80). For IR, an additional inversion time was required to avoid underestimation (bias±limits of agreement - 127 ± 234 ms) due to the longer T1 values at 7 T. Out of the two 3D sequences tested, LL resulted in more accurate and precise T1 estimation compared to VFA (average bias±limits of agreement LL: 12 ± 202 ms compared to VFA: 25 ± 622 ms). For both, B1 correction improved agreement to IR. Conclusion: With an adapted sampling scheme, dGEMRIC T1 mapping is feasible at 7 T and correlates well to 1.5 T. If 3D is to be used for T1 mapping of the knee at 7 T, LL is preferred and VFA is not recommended. For VFA and LL, B1 correction is necessary for accurate T1 estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 16

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Free keywords

  • 7 T
  • Cartilage
  • dGEMRIC
  • Inversion recovery
  • Look-locker
  • Variable flip angle

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