The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12968-017-0425-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Stimulated-echo (STEAM) and, more recently, motion-compensated spin-echo (M2-SE) techniques have been used for in-vivo diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance (DT-CMR) assessment of cardiac microstructure. The two techniques differ in the length scales of diffusion interrogated, their signal-to-noise ratio efficiency and sensitivity to both motion and strain. Previous comparisons of the techniques have used high performance gradients at 1.5 T in a single cardiac phase. However, recent work using STEAM has demonstrated novel findings of microscopic dysfunction in cardiomyopathy patients, when DT-CMR was performed at multiple cardiac phases. We compare STEAM and M2-SE using a clinical 3 T scanner in three potentially clinically interesting cardiac phases.
Breath hold mid-ventricular short-axis DT-CMR was performed in 15 subjects using M2-SE and STEAM at end-systole, systolic sweet-spot and diastasis. Success was defined by ≥50% of the myocardium demonstrating normal helix angles. From successful acquisitions DT-CMR results relating to tensor orientation, size and shape were compared between sequences and cardiac phases using non-parametric statistics. Strain information was obtained using cine spiral displacement encoding with stimulated echoes for comparison with DT-CMR results.
Acquisitions were successful in 98% of STEAM and 76% of M2-SE cases and visual helix angle (HA) map scores were higher for STEAM at the sweet-spot and diastasis. There were significant differences between sequences (p < 0.05) in mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), tensor mode, transmural HA gradient and absolute second eigenvector angle (E2A). Differences in E2A between systole and diastole correlated with peak radial strain for both sequences (p ≤ 0.01).
M2-SE and STEAM can be performed equally well at peak systole at 3 T using standard gradients, but at the sweet-spot and diastole STEAM is more reliable and image quality scores are higher. Differences in DT-CMR results are potentially due to differences in motion sensitivity and the longer diffusion time of STEAM, although the latter appears to be the dominant factor. The benefits of both sequences should be considered when planning future studies and sequence and cardiac phase specific normal ranges should be used for comparison.
Additional file 1: Figures S1–S6 and Tables S1 and S2. (PDF 3207 kb)12968_2017_425_MOESM1_ESM.pdf
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- An in-vivo comparison of stimulated-echo and motion compensated spin-echo sequences for 3 T diffusion tensor cardiovascular magnetic resonance at multiple cardiac phases
Andrew D. Scott
Pedro F. Ferreira
Peter D. Gatehouse
Dudley J. Pennell
David N. Firmin
- BioMed Central
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