Susceptibility gradient quantization by MRI signal response mapping (SIRMA) to dephaser.

Abstract : PURPOSE: Susceptibility effects are a very efficient source of contrast in magnetic resonance imaging. However, detection is hampered by the fact the induced contrast is negative. In this work, the SIgnal Response MApping (SIRMA) to dephaser method is proposed to map susceptibility gradient to improve visualization. METHODS: In conventional gradient echo acquisitions, the echo formation of susceptibility affected spins is shifted in k-space, the shift being proportional to the susceptibility gradient. Susceptibility gradients map can be produced by measuring this induced shifts. The SIRMA method measures these shifts from a series of dephased images collected with additional incremental dephasers. These additional dephasers correspond either to a slice refocusing gradient offset or to a reconstruction window off-centering. The signal intensity profile as a function of the additional dephaser was determined on a pixel-by-pixel basis from the ensemble of dephased images. Susceptibility affected voxels presented a signal response profile maximum shifted compared to nonaffected voxels ones. Shift magnitude and sign were measured for each pixel to determine susceptibility gradients and produce a susceptibility gradient map. RESULTS: In vitro experiments demonstrated the ability of the method to map gradient inhomogeneities induced by a cylinder. Quantization accuracy was evaluated comparing SIRMA images and simulations performed on the well-characterized air filled cylinder model. Performances of the SIRMA method, evaluated in vitro on cylinders filled with various superparamagnetic iron oxide SPIO concentrations, showed limited influence of acquisition parameters. Robustness of the method was then assessed in vivo after an infusion of SPIO-loaded nanocapsules into the rat brain using a convection-enhanced drug delivery approach. The region of massive susceptibility gradient induced by the SPIO-loaded nanocapsules was clearly delineated on SIRMA maps and images were compared to T2* weighted images, Susceptibility Gradient Map (SGM), and histological Perl's staining slice. The potential for quantitative evaluation of SPIO distribution volume was demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed method is a promising technique for a wide range of applications especially in molecular or cellular imaging with respect to its quantitative nature and its computational simplicity.
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Medical Physics, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, 2010, 37 (2), pp.877-84
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Florence Franconi, Catherine Chapon, Jean-Jacques Le Jeune, Pascal Richomme, Laurent Lemaire. Susceptibility gradient quantization by MRI signal response mapping (SIRMA) to dephaser.. Medical Physics, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, 2010, 37 (2), pp.877-84. 〈inserm-00490217〉

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