Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the linearity, bias, intrascanner repeatability, and interscanner reproducibility of quantitative values derived from a multidynamic multiecho (MDME) sequence for rapid simultaneous relaxometry.
Materials and methods: The NIST/ISMRM (National Institute of Standards and Technology/International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine) phantom, containing spheres with standardized T1 and T2 relaxation times and proton density (PD), and 10 healthy volunteers, were scanned 10 times on different days and 2 times during the same session, using the MDME sequence, on three 3 T scanners from different vendors. For healthy volunteers, brain volumetry and myelin estimation were performed based on the measured T1, T2, and PD. The measured phantom values were compared with reference values; volunteer values were compared with their averages across 3 scanners.
Results: The linearity of both phantom and volunteer measurements in T1, T2, and PD values was very strong (R = 0.973-1.000, 0.979-1.000, and 0.982-0.999, respectively) The highest intrascanner coefficients of variation (CVs) for T1, T2, and PD were 2.07%, 7.60%, and 12.86% for phantom data, and 1.33%, 0.89%, and 0.77% for volunteer data, respectively. The highest interscanner CVs of T1, T2, and PD were 10.86%, 15.27%, and 9.95% for phantom data, and 3.15%, 5.76%, and 3.21% for volunteer data, respectively. Variation of T1 and T2 tended to be larger at higher values outside the range of those typically observed in brain tissue. The highest intrascanner and interscanner CVs for brain tissue volumetry were 2.50% and 5.74%, respectively, for cerebrospinal fluid.
Conclusions: Quantitative values derived from the MDME sequence are overall robust for brain relaxometry and volumetry on 3 T scanners from different vendors. Caution is warranted when applying MDME sequence on anatomies with relaxometry values outside the range of those typically observed in brain tissue.