PURPOSE This study aimed at introducing short-T1/T2 compartment to MR fingerprinting (MRF) at 3 T. Water that is bound to myelin macromolecules have significantly shorter T1 and T2 than free water and can be distinguished from free water by multi-compartment analysis. METHODS We developed a new multi-inversion-recovery (mIR) water mapping-MRF based on an unbalanced steady-state coherent sequence (FISP). mIR pulses with an interval of 400 or 500 repetition times (TRs) were inserted into the conventional FISP MRF sequence. Data from our proposed mIR MRF was used to quantify different compartments, including myelin water, gray matter free water, and white matter free water, of brain water by virtue of the iterative non-negative least square (NNLS) with reweighting. Three healthy volunteers were scanned with mIR MRF on a clinical 3 T MRI. RESULTS Using an extended phase graph simulation, we found that our proposed mIR scheme with four IR pulses allowed differentiation between short and long T1/T2 components. For in vivo experiments, we achieved the quantification of myelin water, gray matter water, and white matter water at an image resolution of 1.17 × 1.17 × 5 mm3/pixel. As compared to the conventional MRF technique with single IR, our proposed mIR improved the detection of myelin water content. In addition, mIR MRF using spiral-in/out trajectory provided a higher signal level compared with that with spiral-out trajectory. Myelin water quantification using mIR MRF with 4 IR and 5 IR pulses were qualitatively similar. Meanwhile, 5 IR MRF showed fewer artifacts in myelin water detection. CONCLUSION We developed a new mIR MRF sequence for the rapid quantification of brain water compartments.
Di Cui, Edward S Hui, Peng Cao
Magnetic resonance imaging