- Workshop presentation
- Open Access
Optimising acquisition parameters for myocardial T2 mapping using T2-prep at 3T
© Tunnicliffe and Robson; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
- Published: 30 January 2013
- Heart Rate Variability
- Flip Angle
- Heart Period
- Oxford Biomedical Research
- Oedematous Tissue
T2 mapping using T2-prepared SSFP at 1.5T has been shown to be sensitive to oedema in acute myocardial infarction. At 3T, other studies have addressed the problem of the T2 prep module's sensitivity to the increased B1 inhomogeneity. However, a second problem is that the lengthened T1 at 3T can reduce the contrast between normal and oedematous myocardium, as well as introducing heart rate variability in measured T2. We set out to develop a protocol which maximised the difference between measured T2 in normal and oedematous tissue, while minimising the heart-rate dependence of the measured T2.
Two gel phantoms (agarose and NiCl2) were constructed with relaxation times close to normal myocardium (N) and oedematous myocardium (O)[1, 3]. These relaxation times were measured at 3T (Siemens Verio) using ShMOLLI and a multi-echo spin echo sequence.
Next, a T2-prepared T2 mapping sequence (Siemens WIP 447) was used, with the default 1.5T protocol varied as follows: GRE readout, flip angle=5°, 9°,18°; SSFP readout, flip angle=20°,35°,50°; Linear and centric k-space ordering, and with the order of the T2 prep module echo times permuted (0,32,55ms;0,55,32ms etc.). Each protocol variant was run with heart periods of 600ms, 1000ms and 1200ms (heart rates of 50, 60 and 100 bpm), for a total of 216 scans.
The reconstructed T2 maps were analysed using Matlab (Natick, MA). Each protocol was evaluated for its ability to distinguish between normal and oedematous myocardium by comparing the difference between the measured T2, averaged over a ROI covering the body of the N and O phantoms. The standard deviation of measured T2 for each protocol across the three heart rates was used as a measure of heart-rate dependence. A t-test was used to determine whether the difference in T2 was statistically significant over all heart rates, and to rank the protocols, with the lowest p-value protocol providing the best discrimination between the T2 of the two phantoms.
Protocols for comparison are: the default 1.5T protocol, and default 1.5T protocol with GRE readout (A&B); the three best protocols (lowest p-value, i.e. best discrimination between measured T2), two GRE (C&D) and one SSFP (E); the best protocol with an SSFP readout substituted for GRE (F).
Protocol (Figure 1a)
Mean difference in T2/ms
Quadrature-combined s.d. over all heart rates
SSFP, 50°, linear, 0-32-55ms
1.5T default protocol
GRE, 9°, linear, 0-32-55ms
1.5T default protocol with GRE readout
GRE, 18°, centric, 32-0-55ms
GRE, 18°, centric, 32-55-0ms
SSFP, 20°, centric, 0-55-32ms
Lowest p-value with SSFP readout
SSFP, 50°, centric, 32-0-55ms
Best protocol but with SSFP readout
The sensitivity of myocardial T2 mapping at 3T can be significantly improved by optimising acquisition parameters. Based on this phantom study, we use a centrically ordered GRE readout with a flip angle of 18° and a T2-prep order of 32-55-0ms.
We thank the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and UK Department of Health for grant funding.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.