Using Variable Flip Angle (VFA) and Modified Look-Locker Inversion Recovery (MOLLI) T1 mapping in clinical OE-MRI.
Bluemke E., Bertrand A., Chu K-Y., Syed N., Murchison AG., Cooke R., Greenhalgh T., Burns B., Craig M., Taylor N., Shah K., Gleeson F., Bulte D.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The imaging technique known as Oxygen-Enhanced MRI is under development as a noninvasive technique for imaging hypoxia in tumours and pulmonary diseases. While promising results have been shown in preclinical experiments, clinical studies have mentioned experiencing difficulties with patient motion, image registration, and the limitations of single-slice images compared to 3D volumes. As clinical studies begin to assess feasibility of using OE-MRI in patients, it is important for researchers to communicate about the practical challenges experienced when using OE-MRI on patients to help the technique advance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We report on our experience with using two types of T1 mapping (MOLLI and VFA) for a recently completed OE-MRI clinical study on oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. RESULTS: We report: (1) the artefacts and practical difficulties encountered in this study; (2) the difference in estimated T1 from each method used - the VFA T1 estimation was higher than the MOLLI estimation by 27% on average; (3) the standard deviation within the tumour ROIs - there was no significant difference in the standard deviation seen within the tumour ROIs from the VFA versus MOLLI; and (4) the OE-MRI response collected from either method. Lastly, we collated the MRI acquisition details from over 45 relevant manuscripts as a convenient reference for researchers planning future studies. CONCLUSION: We have reported our practical experience from an OE-MRI clinical study, with the aim that sharing this is helpful to researchers planning future studies. In this study, VFA was a more useful technique for using OE-MRI in tumours than MOLLI T1 mapping.