Accelerated cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in the mouse using an eight-channel array at 9.4 Tesla.
Schneider JE., Lanz T., Barnes H., Stork L-A., Bohl S., Lygate CA., Ordidge RJ., Neubauer S.
MRI has become an important tool to noninvasively assess global and regional cardiac function, infarct size, or myocardial blood flow in surgically or genetically modified mouse models of human heart disease. Constraints on scan time due to sensitivity to general anesthesia in hemodynamically compromised mice frequently limit the number of parameters available in one imaging session. Parallel imaging techniques to reduce acquisition times require coil arrays, which are technically challenging to design at ultrahigh magnetic field strengths. This work validates the use of an eight-channel volume phased-array coil for cardiac MRI in mice at 9.4 T. Two- and three-dimensional sequences were combined with parallel imaging techniques and used to quantify global cardiac function, T(1)-relaxation times and infarct sizes. Furthermore, the rapid acquisition of functional cine-data allowed for the first time in mice measurement of left-ventricular peak filling and ejection rates under intravenous infusion of dobutamine. The results demonstrate that a threefold accelerated data acquisition is generally feasible without compromising the accuracy of the results. This strategy may eventually pave the way for routine, multiparametric phenotyping of mouse hearts in vivo within one imaging session of tolerable duration.