PURPOSE: Myocardial microstructure has been challenging to probe in vivo. Spin echo-based diffusion-weighted sequences allow for single-shot acquisitions but are highly sensitive to cardiac motion. In this study, the use of second-order motion-compensated diffusion encoding was compared with first-order motion-compensated diffusion-weighted imaging during systolic contraction of the heart.
METHODS: First- and second-order motion-compensated diffusion encoding gradients were incorporated into a triggered single-shot spin echo sequence. The effect of contractile motion on the apparent diffusion coefficients and tensor orientations was investigated in vivo from basal to apical level of the heart.
RESULTS: Second-order motion compensation was found to increase the range of systolic trigger delays from 30%-55% to 15%-77% peak systole at the apex and from 25%-50% to 15%-79% peak systole at the base. Diffusion tensor analysis yielded more physiological transmural distributions when using second-order motion-compensated diffusion tensor imaging.
CONCLUSION: Higher-order motion-compensated diffusion encoding decreases the sensitivity to cardiac motion, thereby enabling cardiac DTI over a wider range of time points during systolic contraction of the heart. Magn Reson Med, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.