Background A velocity-selective binomial excitation scheme for myocardial first-pass perfusion measurements with hyperpolarized 13C substrates, which preserves bolus magnetization inside the blood pool, is presented. The proposed method is evaluated against gadolinium-enhanced 1H measurements in-vivo.
Methods The proposed excitation with an echo-planar imaging readout was implemented on a clinical CMR system. Dynamic myocardial stress perfusion images were acquired in six healthy pigs after bolus injection of hyperpolarized 13C urea with the velocity-selective vs. conventional excitation, as well as standard 1H gadolinium-enhanced images. Signal-to-noise, contrast-to-noise (CNR) and homogeneity of semi-quantitative perfusion measures were compared between methods based on first-pass signal-intensity time curves extracted from a mid-ventricular slice. Diagnostic feasibility is demonstrated in a case of septal infarction.
Results Velocity-selective excitation provides over three-fold reduction in blood pool signal with a two-fold increase in myocardial CNR. Extracted first-pass perfusion curves reveal a significantly reduced variability of semi-quantitative first-pass perfusion measures (12–20%) for velocity-selective excitation compared to conventional excitation (28–93%), comparable to that of reference 1H gadolinium data (9–15%). Overall image quality appears comparable between the velocity-selective hyperpolarized and gadolinium-enhanced imaging.