Ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI for the assessment of caries lesions.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Direct in vivo MRI of dental hard tissues by applying ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI techniques has recently been reported. The objective of the presented study is to clinically evaluate the applicability of UTE MRI for the identification of caries lesions. METHODS: 40 randomly selected patients (mean age 41 ± 15 years) were enrolled in this study. 39 patients underwent a conventional clinical assessment, dental bitewing X-ray and a dental MRI investigation comprising a conventional turbo-spin echo (TSE) and a dedicated UTE scan. One patient had to be excluded owing to claustrophobia. In four patients, the clinical treatment of the lesions was documented by intraoral pictures, and the resulting volume of the cavity after excavation was documented by dental imprints and compared with the MRI findings. RESULTS: In total, 161 lesions were identified. 157 (97%) were visible in the UTE images, 27 (17%) in the conventional TSE images and 137 (85%) in the X-ray images. In total, 14 teeth could not be analysed by MR owing to artefacts caused by dental fillings. All lesions appear significantly larger in the UTE images as compared with the X-ray and TSE images. In situ measurements confirm the accuracy of the lesion dimensions as observed in the UTE images. CONCLUSION: The presented data provide evidence that UTE MR imaging can be applied for the identification of caries lesions. Although the current data suggest an even higher sensitivity of UTE MRI, some limitations must be expected from dental fillings.
Project description:The purpose of this work was to use 3D radial ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI to perform whole-lung oxygen-enhanced (OE) imaging in humans. Eight healthy human subjects underwent two 3D radial UTE MRI acquisitions (TE = 0.08 ms): one while breathing 21% O2 and the other while breathing 100% O2. Scans were each performed over 5 min of free breathing, using prospective respiratory gating. For comparison purposes, conventional echo time (TE = 2.1 ms) images were acquired simultaneously during each acquisition using a radial " outward-inward" k-space trajectory. 3D percent OE maps were generated from these images. 3D OE maps showing lung signal enhancement were generated successfully in seven subjects (technical failure in one subject). Mean percent signal enhancement was 6.6% ± 1.8%, near the value predicted by theory of 6.3%. No significant enhancement was seen using the conventional echo time data, confirming the importance of UTE for this acquisition strategy. 3D radial UTE MRI shows promise as a method for OE MRI that enables whole-lung coverage and isotropic spatial resolution, in comparison to existing 2D OE methods, which rely on a less time-efficient inversion recovery pulse sequence. These qualities may help OE MRI become a viable low-cost method for 3D imaging of lung function in human subjects.
Project description:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualization of meniscal signal is particularly challenging as the highly organized ultrastructure of meniscal fibrocartilage yields very short T2 values (?6 ms) and a paucity of signal intensity during conventional image acquisition.The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of imaging postoperative menisci using an experimental, quantitative ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI pulse sequence. This sequence acquires short echo images (echo time (TE) ?0.3 ms) to produce multi-echo images for quantitative T2* calculations that provide an objective measure of collagen organization.MRI scans of the knee were acquired at 6- and 12-month intervals on a clinical 3.0 T scanner following meniscal surgery in eight patients (ages 13-41), four of whom underwent repair and the other four partial meniscectomy. Conventional MRI sequences were qualitatively evaluated for meniscal morphology and signal and correlated with quantitative UTE results.A wide range of mean T2* values for both postsurgical groups was measured, and these values changed for each patient between the 6- and 12-month intervals. In many instances, the UTE sequence demonstrated quantitative differences between the two time intervals that were not detected with conventional sequences.This pilot study presents preliminary, observational data to be used as a baseline for future studies. Although the T2* values did not reveal a trend in either group or correlate with expected signal changes on conventional MRI, we speculate that the UTE sequence may detect ultrastructural alterations in meniscal composition that are otherwise not perceived with routine fast spin echo (FSE) sequences.
Project description:PURPOSE:Conventional MRI using contrast agents is semiquantitative because it is inherently sensitive to extravoxular susceptibility artifacts, field inhomogeneity, partial voluming, perivascular effects, and motion/flow artifacts. Herein we demonstrate a quantitative contrast-enhanced MRI technique using ultrashort time-to-echo pulse sequences for measuring clinically relevant concentrations of ferumoxytol, a superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle contrast agent with high sensitivity and precision in vitro and in vivo. METHODS:The method achieves robust, reproducible results by using rapid signal acquisition at ultrashort time-to-echo (UTE) to produce positive contrast images with pure T1 weighting and little T2* decay. The spoiled gradient echo equation is used to transform UTE intensities directly into concentration using experimentally determined relaxivity constants and image acquisition parameters. RESULTS:A multiparametric optimization of acquisition parameters revealed an optimal zone capable of producing high-fidelity measurements. Clinically relevant intravascular concentrations of ferumoxytol were measured longitudinally in mice with high sensitivity and precision (?7.1% error). MRI measurements were independently validated by elemental iron analysis of sequential blood draws. Automated segmentation of ferumoxytol concentration yielded high quality three-dimensional images for visualization of perfusion. CONCLUSIONS:This ability to longitudinally quantify blood pool CA concentration is unique to quantitative UTE contrast-enhanced (QUTE-CE) MRI and makes QUTE-CE MRI competitive with nuclear imaging.
Project description:We used ultra-high field MRI to visualize cortical lesion types described by neuropathology in 16 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with 8 age-matched controls; to characterize the contrast properties of cortical lesions including T2*, T2, T1, and phase images; and to investigate the relationship between cortical lesion types and clinical data.We collected, on a 7-T scanner, 2-dimensional fast low-angle shot (FLASH)-T2*-weighted spoiled gradient-echo, T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (TSE) images (0.33 x 033 x 1 mm(3)), and a 3-dimensional magnetization-prepared rapid gradient echo.Overall, 199 cortical lesions were detected in patients on both FLASH-T2* and T2-TSE scans. Seven-tesla MRI allowed for characterization of cortical plaques into type I (leukocortical), type II (intracortical), and type III/IV (subpial extending partly or completely through the cortical width) lesions as described histopathologically. Types III and IV were the most frequent type of cortical plaques (50.2%), followed by type I (36.2%) and type II (13.6%) lesions. Each lesion type was more frequent in secondary progressive than in relapsing-remitting MS. This difference, however, was significant only for type III/IV lesions. T2*-weighted images showed the highest, while phase images showed the lowest, contrast-to-noise ratio for all cortical lesion types. In patients, the number of type III/IV lesions was associated with greater disability (p < 0.02 by Spearman test) and older age (p < 0.04 by Spearman test).Seven-tesla MRI detected different histologic cortical lesion types in our small multiple sclerosis (MS) sample, suggesting, if validated in a larger population, that it may prove a valuable tool to assess the contribution of cortical MS pathology to clinical disability.
Project description:PURPOSE: To compare a novel combined acquisition technique (CAT) of turbo-spin-echo (TSE) and echo-planar-imaging (EPI) with conventional TSE. CAT reduces the electromagnetic energy load transmitted for spin excitation. This radiofrequency (RF) burden is limited by the specific absorption rate (SAR) for patient safety. SAR limits restrict high-field MRI applications, in particular. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was approved by the local Medical Ethics Committee. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. T2- and PD-weighted brain images of n = 40 Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients were acquired by CAT and TSE at 3 Tesla. Lesions were recorded by two blinded, board-certificated neuroradiologists. Diagnostic equivalence of CAT and TSE to detect MS lesions was evaluated along with their SAR, sound pressure level (SPL) and sensations of acoustic noise, heating, vibration and peripheral nerve stimulation. RESULTS: Every MS lesion revealed on TSE was detected by CAT according to both raters (Cohen's kappa of within-rater/across-CAT/TSE lesion detection ?CAT = 1.00, at an inter-rater lesion detection agreement of ?LES = 0.82). CAT reduced the SAR burden significantly compared to TSE (p<0.001). Mean SAR differences between TSE and CAT were 29.0 (± 5.7) % for the T2-contrast and 32.7 (± 21.9) % for the PD-contrast (expressed as percentages of the effective SAR limit of 3.2 W/kg for head examinations). Average SPL of CAT was no louder than during TSE. Sensations of CAT- vs. TSE-induced heating, noise and scanning vibrations did not differ. CONCLUSION: T2-/PD-CAT is diagnostically equivalent to TSE for MS lesion detection yet substantially reduces the RF exposure. Such SAR reduction facilitates high-field MRI applications at 3 Tesla or above and corresponding protocol standardizations but CAT can also be used to scan faster, at higher resolution or with more slices. According to our data, CAT is no more uncomfortable than TSE scanning.
Project description:Larmor-frequency shift or image phase measured by gradient-echo sequences has provided a new source of MRI contrast. This contrast is being used to study both the structure and function of the brain. So far, phase images of the brain have been largely obtained at long echo times as maximum phase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is achieved at TE = T2* (?40 ms at 3T). The structures of the brain, however, are compartmentalized and complex with a wide range of signal relaxation times. At such long TE, the short-T2 components are largely attenuated and contribute minimally to phase contrast. The purpose of this study was to determine whether proton gradient-echo images of the brain exhibit phase contrast at ultra-short TE (UTE). Our data showed that UTE images acquired at 7 T without off-resonance saturation do not contain significant phase contrast between gray and white matter. However, UTE images of the brain can attain strong phase contrast even at a nominal TE of 106 ?s by using off-resonance RF saturation pulses, which provide direct saturation of ultra-short-T2 components and indirect saturation of longer-T2 components via magnetization transfer. In addition, phase contrast between gray and white matter acquired at UTE with off-resonance saturation is reversed compared to that of the long-T2 signals acquired at long TEs. This finding opens up a potential new way to manipulate image phase contrast of the brain. By accessing short and ultra-short-T2 species, MRI phase images may further improve the characterization of tissue microstructure in the brain.
Project description:PURPOSE:To investigate the correlations between cortical bone microstructural properties and total water proton density (TWPD) obtained from three-dimensional ultrashort echo time Cones (3D-UTE-Cones) magnetic resonance imaging techniques. MATERIALS AND METHODS:135 cortical bone samples were harvested from human tibial and femoral midshafts of 37 donors (61 ± 24 years old). Samples were scanned using 3D-UTE-Cones sequences on a clinical 3T MRI and on a high-resolution micro-computed tomography (?CT) scanner. TWPD was measured using 3D-UTE-Cones MR images. Average bone porosity, pore size, and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured from ?CT images at 9 ?m voxel size. Pearson's correlation coefficients between TWPD and ?CT-based measures were calculated. RESULTS:TWPD showed significant moderate correlation with both average bone porosity (R = 0.66, p < 0.01) and pore size (R = 0.57, p < 0.01). TWPD also showed significant strong correction with BMD (R = 0.71, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:The presented 3D-UTE-Cones imaging technique allows assessment of TWPD in human cortical bone. This quick UTE-MRI-based technique was capable of predicting bone microstructure differences with significant correlations. Such correlations highlight the potential of UTE-MRI-based measurement of bone water proton density to assess bone microstructure.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The majority of dental caries lesions in older adults are at the gumline, at the edges of failed fillings and crowns, and in the surfaces of roots after gum recession. These lesions are difficult to restore with conventional surgical treatments using a dental drill and restorations often fail. Clinical guidelines are general and apply treatments that were designed for younger individuals in the dental care of older adults. OBJECTIVE:This study will compare the effectiveness of 2 evidence-based nonsurgical strategies to manage dental caries lesions in adults aged 62 or older: (1) biannual topical application of silver diamine fluoride versus (2) atraumatic restorative treatment + biannual fluoride varnish. METHODS:A cluster randomized clinical trial is being conducted in 22 publicly subsidized and other low-income housing facilities/sites (Arm 1: 11 sites, 275 participants; Arm 2: 11 sites, 275 participants). At baseline, participants will be screened for caries lesions. Those with nonurgent lesions will be treated according to the treatment arm to which the housing site was randomly assigned. The primary outcomes are caries lesion arrest, tooth sensitivity, and tooth pain at 52 weeks after treatment. Analytic methods for the primary aim include a generalized estimating equation approach to determine noninferiority of silver diamine fluoride relative to atraumatic restorative treatment + fluoride varnish treatment. RESULTS:The trial was funded in April 2019. Enrollment began in September 2019 and results are expected in June 2023. CONCLUSIONS:This study will inform the standard of care for treating caries lesions in older adults. If effective, either of these interventions has broad applicability in clinical and community-based settings. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03916926; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03916926. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):DERR1-10.2196/17840.
Project description:PURPOSE:To develop a dual-radiofrequency (RF), dual-echo, 3D ultrashort echo-time (UTE) pulse sequence and bone-selective image reconstruction for rapid high-resolution craniofacial MRI. METHODS:The proposed pulse sequence builds on recently introduced dual-RF UTE imaging. While yielding enhanced bone specificity by exploiting high sensitivity of short T2 signals to variable RF pulse widths, the parent technique exacts a 2-fold scan time penalty relative to standard dual-echo UTE. In the proposed method, the parent sequence's dual-RF scheme was incorporated into dual-echo acquisitions while radial view angles are varied every pulse-to-pulse repetition period. The resulting 4 echoes (2 for each RF) were combined by view-sharing to construct 2 sets of k-space data sets, corresponding to short and long TEs, respectively, leading to a 2-fold increase in imaging efficiency. Furthermore, by exploiting the sparsity of bone signals in echo-difference images, acceleration was achieved by solving a bone-sparsity constrained image reconstruction problem. In vivo studies were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed acceleration approaches in comparison to the parent method. RESULTS:The proposed technique achieves 1.1-mm isotropic skull imaging in 3 minutes without visual loss of image quality, compared to the parent technique (scan time = 12 minutes). Bone-specific images and corresponding 3D renderings of the skull were found to depict the expected craniofacial anatomy over the entire head. CONCLUSION:The proposed method is able to achieve high-resolution volumetric craniofacial images in a clinically practical imaging time, and thus may prove useful as a potential alternative to computed tomography.