Respiratory motion is a major limiting factor for spectral quality and duration of in vivo proton MR spectroscopy of the heart. Prospective navigator gating is frequently applied to minimize the effects of respiratory motion, but scan durations are subject-dependent and hence difficult to predict.
To implement cardiac proton MRS with fixed scan time by employing retrospective phase-based gating and to compare the proposed method to conventional navigator-gated MRS.
Eighteen healthy volunteers (29.7 ± 7.8 years).
1.5, navigator-gated (16 averages without, 96 with water suppression [WS]) data acquisition as reference and navigator-free data acquisition with a fixed scan time (48 without WS, 304 with WS), cardiac-triggered point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS).
Navigator-free data acquisition with retrospective phase-based gating was compared with prospective navigator-gating. Navigator-free acquisition was repeated in 10 subjects to assess reproducibility. Scan time was assessed for prospective and retrospective gating. Retrospective phase-based gating was performed using a threshold based on the standard deviation (SD) of individual water (W) and triglyceride (TG) phases.
T-tests and Bland-Altman analysis.
The duration of the prospective navigator-gated scans ranged from 6:09 minutes to 21:50 minutes (mean 10:05 ± 3:46 min, gating efficiency 40.4 ± 10.5%), while data acquisition for retrospective phase-based gating had a fixed scan time of 11:44 minutes. Retrospective phase-based gating using a threshold of 1 × SD yielded a gating efficiency of 72.7 ± 4.3% and a coefficient of variation (CoV) of triglyceride-to-water ratios of 9.8% compared with the navigated reference. The intrasubject reproducibility of retrospective gating revealed a CoV of 9.5%.
Cardiac proton MRS employing retrospective phase-based gating is feasible and provides reproducible assessment of TG/W in a fixed scan time. Since scan time is independent of respiratory motion, retrospective phase-based gating offers an approach to motion compensation with predictable exam time for proton MRS of the heart.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 2 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;50:1973-1981.