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Quantitative contrast-enhanced MRI with superparamagnetic nanoparticles using ultrashort time-to-echo pulse sequences.


ABSTRACT: 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.

SUBMITTER: Gharagouzloo CA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6691359 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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