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Scientific result | MRI | Brain | Medical imaging
A patented Radio Frequency (RF) transmission method developed by NeuroSpin for 7 Tesla human brain imaging now removes artifacts still present in 3 Tesla large organ images. This has been demonstrated by UNIRS Research Team in collaboration with Henri-Mondor Hospital in liver imaging. The applied method, called "kT points", substantially improves the quality of images obtained, compared to the conventional method of parallel transmission.
The excitation inhomogeneity artifact occurring at 3T in the abdomen can lead to dramatic loss of signal and contrast, thereby hampering diagnosis.
To assess excitation homogeneity and image quality achieved by nonselective prototypical kT-points pulses, compared to tailored static RF shimming, in clinical routine on a commercial dual-transmit scanner.
Retrospective study with Institutional Review Board approval; informed consent was waived.
Fifty consecutive patients referred for liver MRI at a single hospital.
3D breath-hold dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI at 3T.
Flip angle homogeneity was estimated via numerical simulation based on measured static and RF field maps. In all, 20 of the 50 patients underwent DCE-MRI while a pulse designer was present. The effect of RF shimming and kT-point pulses could be compared by repeating the acquisition with each transmit scheme before injection and in the late phase. Signal homogeneity, T1 contrast, enhancement quality, structure details, and global image quality were assessed on a 4-level scale (0 to 3) by two radiologists.
Means were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.
Normalized root mean square flip angle error was significantly reduced with kT-points compared to static RF shimming (8.5% ± 1.5% [mean ± standard deviation, SD] vs. 20.4% ± 9.8%; P < 0.0001). The worst case (heavy ascites) led to 13.0% (kT-points) vs. 54.9% (RF shimming). Global image quality was significantly higher for kT-points (2.3 ± 0.5 vs. 1.9 ± 0.6; P = 0.008). One subject's examination was judged unusable with RF shimming by one reader, none with kT-points. 85% of kT-points acquisitions were graded at least 2/3, and only 55% for static RF shimming.
KT-points reduce excitation inhomogeneity quantitatively and qualitatively, especially in patients with ascites and prone to B1 shading.
Level of Evidence: 1
Technical Efficacy: Stage 1
J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2017.
Read the French version.
Tomi-Tricot R, Gras V, Mauconduit F, Legou F, Boulant N, Gebhardt M, Ritter D, Kiefer B, Zerbib P, Rahmouni A, Vignaud A, Luciani A, Amadon A. B1 artifact reduction in abdominal DCE-MRI using kT -points: First clinical assessment of dynamic RF shimming at 3T (2017) J Magn Reson Imaging, sous presse http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.25908
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.