Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting - a promising new approach to obtain standardized imaging biomarkers from MRI

Insights Imaging. 2015 Apr;6(2):163-5. doi: 10.1007/s13244-015-0403-3. Epub 2015 Mar 24.


Current routine MRI examinations rely on the acquisition of qualitative images that have a contrast "weighted" for a mixture of (magnetic) tissue properties. Recently, a novel approach was introduced, namely MR Fingerprinting (MRF) with a completely different approach to data acquisition, post-processing and visualization. Instead of using a repeated, serial acquisition of data for the characterization of individual parameters of interest, MRF uses a pseudo randomized acquisition that causes the signals from different tissues to have a unique signal evolution or 'fingerprint' that is simultaneously a function of the multiple material properties under investigation. The processing after acquisition involves a pattern recognition algorithm to match the fingerprints to a predefined dictionary of predicted signal evolutions. These can then be translated into quantitative maps of the magnetic parameters of interest. MR Fingerprinting (MRF) is a technique that could theoretically be applied to most traditional qualitative MRI methods and replaces them with acquisition of truly quantitative tissue measures. MRF is, thereby, expected to be much more accurate and reproducible than traditional MRI and should improve multi-center studies and significantly reduce reader bias when diagnostic imaging is performed. Key Points • MR fingerprinting (MRF) is a new approach to data acquisition, post-processing and visualization.• MRF provides highly accurate quantitative maps of T1, T2, proton density, diffusion.• MRF may offer multiparametric imaging with high reproducibility, and high potential for multicenter/ multivendor studies.