BACKGROUND: Displacement Encoding with Stimulated Echoes (DENSE) encodes displacement into the phase of the magnetic resonance signal. Due to the stimulated echo, the signal is inherently low and fades through the cardiac cycle. To compensate, a spiral acquisition has been used at 1.5T. This spiral sequence has not been validated at 3T, where the increased signal would be valuable, but field inhomogeneities may result in measurement errors. We hypothesized that spiral cine DENSE is valid at 3T and tested this hypothesis by measuring displacement errors at both 1.5T and 3T in vivo.
METHODS: Two-dimensional spiral cine DENSE and tagged imaging of the left ventricle were performed on ten healthy subjects at 3T and six healthy subjects at 1.5T. Intersection points were identified on tagged images near end-systole. Displacements from the DENSE images were used to project those points back to their origins. The deviation from a perfect grid was used as a measure of accuracy and quantified as root-mean-squared error. This measure was compared between 3T and 1.5T with the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Inter-observer variability of strains and torsion quantified by DENSE and agreement between DENSE and harmonic phase (HARP) were assessed by Bland-Altman analyses. The signal to noise ratio (SNR) at each cardiac phase was compared between 3T and 1.5T with the Wilcoxon rank sum test.
RESULTS: The displacement accuracy of spiral cine DENSE was not different between 3T and 1.5T (1.2 ± 0.3 mm and 1.2 ± 0.4 mm, respectively). Both values were lower than the DENSE pixel spacing of 2.8 mm. There were no substantial differences in inter-observer variability of DENSE or agreement of DENSE and HARP between 3T and 1.5T. Relative to 1.5T, the SNR at 3T was greater by a factor of 1.4 ± 0.3.
CONCLUSIONS: The spiral cine DENSE acquisition that has been used at 1.5T to measure cardiac displacements can be applied at 3T with equivalent accuracy. The inter-observer variability and agreement of DENSE-derived peak strains and torsion with HARP is also comparable at both field strengths. Future studies with spiral cine DENSE may take advantage of the additional SNR at 3T.
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This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Early Independence Award (DP5 OD-012132), NIH grant number T32 HL-072743, and NIH grant number UL1TR000117 from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
Wehner, Gregory J.; Suever, Jonathan D.; Haggerty, Christopher M.; Jing, Linyuan; Powell, David K.; Hamlet, Sean M.; Grabau, Jonathan D.; Mojsejenko, Walter Dimitri; Zhong, Xiaodong; Epstein, Frederick H.; and Fornwalt, Brandon K., "Validation of In Vivo 2D Displacements from Spiral Cine DENSE at 3T" (2015). Saha Cardiovascular Research Center Faculty Publications. 21.