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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2008 May;27(5):1037-45. doi: 10.1002/jmri.21345.

Assessment of regional myocardial oxygenation changes in the presence of coronary artery stenosis with balanced SSFP imaging at 3.0 T: theory and experimental evaluation in canines.

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Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.



To examine the dependence of steady-state free-precession (SSFP) -based myocardial blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast on field strength using theoretical and experimental models.


Numerical simulations using a two-pool exchange model and a surgically prepared dog model were used to assess the SSFP-based myocardial BOLD signal changes at 1.5T and 3.0T. Experimental studies were performed in eight canines with pharmacological vasodilation under various levels of left circumflex coronary artery stenosis. Experimentally obtained BOLD signal changes were correlated against microsphere-based true flow changes.


Theoretical results showed that, at 3.0T, relative to 1.5T, a threefold increase in oxygen sensitivity can be expected. Experimental studies in canines showed near similar results-a 2.5 +/- 0.2-fold increase in BOLD sensitivity at 3.0T relative to 1.5T (P < 0.05). Based on the scatter gram of BOLD data and microsphere data, it was found that the minimum regional flow difference that can be detected with SSFP-based myocardial BOLD imaging at 1.5T and 3.0T were 2.9 and 1.6, respectively (P < 0.05).


This study demonstrated that SSFP-based myocardial BOLD sensitivity is substantially greater at 3.0T compared with 1.5T. The findings here suggest that SSFP-based myocardial BOLD imaging at 3.0T may have the necessary sensitivity to detect the clinically required minimum flow difference of 2.0.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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