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NMR Biomed. 2015 Mar;28(3):384-94. doi: 10.1002/nbm.3262. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Preclinical MR fingerprinting (MRF) at 7 T: effective quantitative imaging for rodent disease models.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.


High-field preclinical MRI scanners are now commonly used to quantitatively assess disease status and the efficacy of novel therapies in a wide variety of rodent models. Unfortunately, conventional MRI methods are highly susceptible to respiratory and cardiac motion artifacts resulting in potentially inaccurate and misleading data. We have developed an initial preclinical 7.0-T MRI implementation of the highly novel MR fingerprinting (MRF) methodology which has been described previously for clinical imaging applications. The MRF technology combines a priori variation in the MRI acquisition parameters with dictionary-based matching of acquired signal evolution profiles to simultaneously generate quantitative maps of T1 and T2 relaxation times and proton density. This preclinical MRF acquisition was constructed from a fast imaging with steady-state free precession (FISP) MRI pulse sequence to acquire 600 MRF images with both evolving T1 and T2 weighting in approximately 30 min. This initial high-field preclinical MRF investigation demonstrated reproducible and differentiated estimates of in vitro phantoms with different relaxation times. In vivo preclinical MRF results in mouse kidneys and brain tumor models demonstrated an inherent resistance to respiratory motion artifacts as well as sensitivity to known pathology. These results suggest that MRF methodology may offer the opportunity for the quantification of numerous MRI parameters for a wide variety of preclinical imaging applications.


MR fingerprinting; brain; high-field MRI; kidney; mouse; preclinical; respiratory motion artifacts

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