Hydration and glycogen affect T1 relaxation times of liver tissue.
Mózes FE., Valkovič L., Pavlides M., Robson MD., Tunnicliffe EM.
T1 mapping is a useful tool for the assessment of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease but still suffers from a large unexplained variance in healthy subjects. This study aims to characterize the potential effects of liver glycogen concentration and body hydration status on liver shortened modified Look-Locker inversion recovery (shMOLLI) T1 measurements. Eleven glycogen phantoms and 12 healthy volunteers (mean age: 31 years, three females) were scanned at 3 T using inversion recovery spin echo, multiple contrast spin echo (in phantoms), shMOLLI T1 mapping, multiple-echo spoiled gradient recalled echo and 13 C spectroscopy (in healthy volunteers). Phantom r1 and r2 relaxivities were determined from measured T1 and T2 values. Participants underwent a series of five metabolic experiments to vary their glycogen concentration and hydration levels: feeding, food fasting, exercising, underhydration, and rehydration. Descriptive statistics were calculated for shMOLLI T1 , inferior vena cava to aorta cross-sectional area ratio (IVC/Ao) as a marker of body hydration status, glycogen concentration, T2 * and proton density fat fraction values. A linear mixed model for shMOLLI R1 was constructed to determine the effects of glycogen concentration and IVC/Ao ratio. The mean shMOLLI T1 after fasting was 737 ± 67 ms. The mean within-subject change was 80 ± 45 ms. The linear mixed model revealed a glycogen r1 relaxivity in volunteers (0.18 M-1 s-1 , p = 0.03) close to that determined in phantoms (0.28 M-1 s-1 ). A unit change in IVC/Ao ratio was associated with a drop of -0.113 s-1 in R1 (p