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- Open Access
Myocardial iron assessment by T1 cardiovascular magnetic resonance at 3 Tesla
© Alam et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
- Published: 16 January 2014
- Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
- Iron Overload
- Hereditary Hemochromatosis
- Black Blood
Myocardial T2* relaxometry at 1.5T provides reliable non-invasive assessment of cardiac iron burden and is commonly used for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients at risk. 3T CMR offers some advantages over 1.5T but iron assessment has not been routinely performed at 3T due to technical concerns regarding artefacts and rapid signal loss, as well as a lack of tissue calibration. In vitro data has shown that like T2*, T1 shortens with increasing tissue iron. At 1.5T, T1 correlates reasonably with T2* in cases of iron overload ( < 20 ms). We compared myocardial T1 measurement at 3T with measurements made at 1.5T of T1 and the established black blood (BB) T2* technique.
A total of 73 subjects (42 male, aged 14 to 81 years) were recruited, comprising 20 healthy volunteers (controls) and 53 patients (thalassemia major 22, sickle cell disease 9, hereditary hemochromatosis 9, other iron overload conditions 13) referred for routine iron assessment. The same mid-ventricular short axis cardiac slice was used to acquire both BB T2* images and to generate T1 MOLLI maps for each subject at 1.5T (Avanto, Siemens, Erlangen, Germany), and then at 3T (Skyra). 20 subjects underwent repeat studies on the same day to evaluate reproducibility. Septal regions of interest were analyzed using CMRtools.
In this analysis, T1 mapping at 3T using a MOLLI sequence identified all individuals with significant iron loading as defined by the current gold standard T2* technique at 1.5T, and is highly reproducible. A linear relation between T1 values obtained at 3T and 1.5T was observed. There is a possible clinical role for T1 mapping at 3T if T2* at 1.5T is not available. Considerable further work on calibration and clinical validation would be necessary however, as the scatter between T1 (3T) and T2* (1.5T) results is not trivial, and would lead to uncertainty in risk assessment in individual patients.
This research was supported by the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London.
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