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Measurement of the arterial input function from radial MR projections Moroz, Jennifer


Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) data may be used to non-invasively investigate the health status of tissue. The technique requires that the concentration of a contrast agent vs. time curve is known in both the tissue of interest and in a blood vessel feeding the tissue - commonly referred to as the arterial input function (AIF). Physiologically relevant parameters are extracted through Pharmacokinetic modeling, though the accuracy is known to be highly sensitive to the quality of the acquired data. It is difficult to get a good measurement of the AIF in pre-clinical studies in mice due to their small body size and limited number of vessels of a sufficient size. As a result, several groups use a population averaged curve from the literature. This curve does not account for inter or intra-individual differences, and impacts the accuracy of the fit parameters. We propose a new projection-based measurement that measures the AIF from a single trajectory in k-space, which provides a temporal resolution equal to the repetition time (TR). This AIF is measured in the mouse tail due to the simpler geometry void of highly enhancing organs nearby. The projection-based AIF is advantageous as it allows for the acquisition of DCE data, in the tissue of interest, between measurements without affecting the temporal resolution of either data set. We set up a dual coil experimental platform that acquires AIF data at the mouse tail and DCE data at the tumour. Our technique allows for data optimization at both locations, without restricting the temporal or spatial resolutions of the AIF or DCE data. It may be applied to any pre-clinical study using mice or rats.

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