Improving highly accelerated fat fraction measurements for clinical trials in muscular dystrophy: origin and quantitative effect of R2* changes

Radiology. 2015 May;275(2):570-8. doi: 10.1148/radiol.14141191. Epub 2015 Jan 7.


Purpose To investigate the effect of R2* modeling in conventional and accelerated measurements of skeletal muscle fat fraction in control subjects and patients with muscular dystrophy. Materials and Methods Eight patients with Becker muscular dystrophy and eight matched control subjects were recruited with approval from the Newcastle and North Tyneside 2 Research Ethics Committee and with written consent. Chemical-shift images with six widely spaced echo times (in 3.5-msec increments) were acquired to correlate R2* and muscle fat fraction. The effect of incorporating or neglecting R2* modeling on fat fraction magnitude and variance was evaluated in a typical three-echo protocol (with 0.78-msec increments). Accelerated acquisitions with this protocol with 3.65×, 4.94×, and 6.42× undersampling were reconstructed by using combined compressed sensing and parallel imaging and fat fraction maps produced with R2* modeling. Results Muscle R2* at 3.0 T (33-125 sec(-1)) depended on the morphology of fat replacement, the highest values occurring with the greatest interdigitation of fat. The inclusion of R2* modeling removed bias, which was greatest at low fat fraction, but did not increase variance. The 95% limits of agreement of the accelerated acquisitions were tight and not degraded by R2* modeling (1.65%, 1.95%, and 2.22% for 3.65×, 4.94×, and 6.42× acceleration, respectively). Conclusion Incorporating R2* modeling prevents systematic errors in muscle fat fraction by up to 3.5% without loss of precision and should be incorporated into all muscular dystrophy studies. Fat fraction measurements can be accelerated fivefold by using combined compressed sensing and parallel imaging, modeling for R2* without loss of fidelity.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscular Dystrophies / pathology*
  • Young Adult