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NMR Biomed. 2008 Oct;21(8):849-58. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1267.

Validation of fast MR thermometry at 1.5 T with gradient-echo echo planar imaging sequences: phantom and clinical feasibility studies.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland. cernicanu@hotmail.com


The purpose of this work was to validate in phantom studies and demonstrate the clinical feasibility of MR proton resonance frequency thermometry at 1.5 T with segmented gradient-echo echo planar imaging (GRE-EPI) sequences during liver tumour radiofrequency (RF) ablation. Classical GRE acquisitions and segmented GRE-EPI acquisitions were performed at 1.5 T during simultaneous RF heating with an MR-compatible RF electrode placed in an agar gel phantom. Temperature increments were calculated and compared with four optical temperature probe measurements using Bland- Altman analysis. In a preliminary clinical feasibility study, the rapid GRE-EPI sequence (echo train length = 13) was used for MR temperature monitoring of RF ablation of liver tumours in three patient procedures. For phantom experiments, the Bland-Altman mean of differences between MR and optical probe temperature measurements was <0.4 degrees C, and the 95% limits of agreement value was <1.4 degrees C. For the in vivo studies, respiratory-triggered GRE-EPI acquisitions yielded a temperature accuracy of 1.3 +/- 0.4 degrees C (acquisition time = 0.6 s/image, spatial coverage of three slices/respiratory cycle). MR proton resonance frequency thermometry at 1.5 T yields precise and accurate measurements of temperature increment with both classical GRE and rapid GRE-EPI sequences. Rapid GRE-EPI sequences minimize intra-scan motion effects and can be used for MR thermometry during RF ablation in moving organs.

Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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