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Radiology. 2014 Sep;272(3):683-9. doi: 10.1148/radiol.14140296. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Accuracy, precision, and reproducibility of four T1 mapping sequences: a head-to-head comparison of MOLLI, ShMOLLI, SASHA, and SAPPHIRE.

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From the Departments of Medicine (Cardiovascular Division) (S.R., S.W., M.F., K.K., L.H.N., W.J.M., R.N.) and Radiology (W.J.M.), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, 300 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215; Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (K.C., R.B.T.); and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (P.K.).



To compare accuracy, precision, and reproducibility of four commonly used myocardial T1 mapping sequences: modified Look-Locker inversion recovery (MOLLI), shortened MOLLI (ShMOLLI), saturation recovery single-shot acquisition (SASHA), and saturation pulse prepared heart rate independent inversion recovery (SAPPHIRE).


This HIPAA-compliant study was approved by the institutional review board. All subjects provided written informed consent. Accuracy, precision, and reproducibility of the four T1 mapping sequences were first compared in phantom experiments. In vivo analysis was performed in seven healthy subjects (mean age ± standard deviation, 38 years ± 19; four men, three women) who were imaged twice on two separate days. In vivo reproducibility of native T1 mapping and extracellular volume (ECV) were measured. Differences between the sequences were assessed by using Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon rank sum tests (phantom data) and mixed-effect models (in vivo data).


T1 mapping accuracy in phantoms was lower with ShMOLLI (62 msec) and MOLLI (44 msec) than with SASHA (13 msec; P < .05) and SAPPHIRE (12 msec; P < .05). MOLLI had similar precision to ShMOLLI (4.0 msec vs 5.6 msec; P = .07) but higher precision than SAPPHIRE (6.8 msec; P = .002) and SASHA (8.7 msec; P < .001). All sequences had similar reproducibility in phantoms (P = .1). The four sequences had similar in vivo reproducibility for native T1 mapping (∼25-50 msec; P > .05) and ECV quantification (∼0.01-0.02; P > .05).


SASHA and SAPPHIRE yield higher accuracy, lower precision, and similar reproducibility compared with MOLLI and ShMOLLI for T1 measurement. Different sequences yield different ECV values; however, all sequences have similar reproducibility for ECV quantification.

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