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Magn Reson Med. 2013 Jun;69(6):1683-90. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24414. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Accelerated fluorine-19 MRI cell tracking using compressed sensing.

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Department of Biological Sciences & the Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Research, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Cell tracking using perfluorocarbon labels and fluorine-19 (19F) MRI is a noninvasive approach to visualize and quantify cell populations in vivo. In this study, we investigated three-dimensional compressed sensing methods to accelerate 19F MRI data acquisition for cell tracking and evaluate the impact of acceleration on 19F signal quantification. We show that a greater than 8-fold reduction in imaging time was feasible without pronounced image degradation and with minimal impact on the image signal-to-noise ratio and 19F quantification accuracy. In 19F phantom studies, we show that apparent feature topology is maintained with compressed sensing reconstruction, and false positive signals do not appear in areas devoid of fluorine. We apply the three-dimensional compressed sensing 19F MRI methods to quantify the macrophage burden in a localized wounding-inflammation mouse model in vivo; at 8-fold image acceleration, the 19F signal distribution was accurately reproduced, with no loss in signal-to-noise ratio. Our results demonstrate that three-dimensional compressed sensing methods have potential for advancing in vivo 19F cell tracking for a wide range of preclinical and translational applications.

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