Purpose: To improve clinical three-dimensional (3D) MR spectroscopic imaging with more accurate localization and faster acquisition schemes.
Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval and patient informed consent were obtained. Data were acquired with a 3-T MR imager and a 32-channel head coil in phantoms, five healthy volunteers, and five patients with glioblastoma. Excitation was performed with localized adiabatic spin-echo refocusing (LASER) by using adiabatic gradient-offset independent adiabaticity wideband uniform rate and smooth truncation (GOIA-W[16,4]) pulses with 3.5-msec duration, 20-kHz bandwidth, 0.81-kHz amplitude, and 45-msec echo time. Interleaved constant-density spirals simultaneously encoded one frequency and two spatial dimensions. Conventional phase encoding (PE) (1-cm3 voxels) was performed after LASER excitation and was the reference standard. Spectra acquired with spiral encoding at similar and higher spatial resolution and with shorter imaging time were compared with those acquired with PE. Metabolite levels were fitted with software, and Bland-Altman analysis was performed.
Results: Clinical 3D MR spectroscopic images were acquired four times faster with spiral protocols than with the elliptical PE protocol at low spatial resolution (1 cm3). Higher-spatial-resolution images (0.39 cm3) were acquired twice as fast with spiral protocols compared with the low-spatial-resolution elliptical PE protocol. A minimum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 5 was obtained with spiral protocols under these conditions and was considered clinically adequate to reliably distinguish metabolites from noise. The apparent SNR loss was not linear with decreasing voxel sizes because of longer local T2* times. Improvement of spectral line width from 4.8 Hz to 3.5 Hz was observed at high spatial resolution. The Bland-Altman agreement between spiral and PE data is characterized by narrow 95% confidence intervals for their differences (0.12, 0.18 of their means). GOIA-W(16,4) pulses minimize chemical-shift displacement error to 2.1%, reduce nonuniformity of excitation to 5%, and eliminate the need for outer volume suppression.
Conclusion: The proposed adiabatic spiral 3D MR spectroscopic imaging sequence can be performed in a standard clinical MR environment. Improvements in image quality and imaging time could enable more routine acquisition of spectroscopic data than is possible with current pulse sequences.
© RSNA, 2011