A simplified method to correct saturation of arterial input function for cardiac magnetic resonance first-pass perfusion imaging: validation with simultaneously acquired PET

Ran Li, Masoud Edalati, David Muccigrosso, Jeffrey M.C. Lau, Richard Laforest, Pamela K. Woodard, Jie Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: First-pass perfusion imaging in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an established method to measure myocardial blood flow (MBF). An obstacle for accurate quantification of MBF is the saturation of blood pool signal intensity used for arterial input function (AIF). The objective of this project was to validate a new simplified method for AIF estimation obtained from single-bolus and single sequence perfusion measurements. The reference MBF was measured simultaneously on 13N-ammonia positron emission tomography (PET). Methods: Sixteen patients with clinically confirmed myocardial ischemia were imaged in a clinical whole-body PET-MRI system. PET perfusion imaging was performed in a 10-min acquisition after the injection of 10 mCi of 13N-ammonia. The MRI perfusion acquisition started simultaneously with the start of the PET acquisition after the injection of a 0.075 mmol/kg gadolinium contrast agent. Cardiac stress imaging was initiated after the administration of regadenoson 20 s prior to PET-MRI scanning. The saturation part of the MRI AIF data was modeled as a gamma variate curve, which was then estimated for a true AIF by minimizing a cost function according to various boundary conditions. A standard AHA 16-segment model was used for comparative analysis of absolute MBF from PET and MRI. Results: Overall, there were 256 segments in 16 patients, mean resting perfusion for PET was 1.06 ± 0.34 ml/min/g and 1.04 ± 0.30 ml/min/g for MRI (P = 0.05), whereas mean stress perfusion for PET was 2.00 ± 0.74 ml/min/g and 2.12 ± 0.76 ml/min/g for MRI (P < 0.01). Linear regression analysis in MBF revealed strong correlation (r = 0.91, slope = 0.96, P < 0.001) between PET and MRI. Myocardial perfusion reserve, calculated from the ratio of stress MBF over resting MBF, also showed a strong correlation between MRI and PET measurements (r = 0.82, slope = 0.81, P < 0.001). Conclusion: The results demonstrated the feasibility of the simplified AIF estimation method for the accurate quantification of MBF by MRI with single sequence and single contrast injection. The MRI MBF correlated strongly with PET MBF obtained simultaneously. This post-processing technique will allow easy transformation of clinical perfusion imaging data into quantitative information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Arterial input function
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance
  • Myocardial blood flow
  • Myocardial flow reserve
  • Vasodilation

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