Free-breathing diffusion tensor MRI of the whole left ventricle using second-order motion compensation and multitasking respiratory motion correction

Magn Reson Med. 2021 May;85(5):2634-2648. doi: 10.1002/mrm.28611. Epub 2020 Nov 30.


Purpose: We aimed to develop a novel free-breathing cardiac diffusion tensor MRI (DT-MRI) approach, M2-MT-MOCO, capable of whole left ventricular coverage that leverages second-order motion compensation (M2) diffusion encoding and multitasking (MT) framework to efficiently correct for respiratory motion (MOCO).

Methods: Imaging was performed in 16 healthy volunteers and 3 heart failure patients with symptomatic dyspnea. The healthy volunteers were scanned to compare the accuracy of interleaved multislice coverage of the entire left ventricle with a single-slice acquisition and the accuracy of the free-breathing conventional MOCO and MT-MOCO approaches with reference breath-hold DT-MRI. Mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), helix angle transmurality (HAT), and intrascan repeatability were quantified and compared.

Results: In all subjects, free-breathing M2-MT-MOCO DT-MRI yielded DWI of the entire left ventricle without bulk motion-induced signal loss. No significant differences were seen in the global values of MD, FA, and HAT in the multislice and single-slice acquisitions. Furthermore, global quantification of MD, FA, and HAT were also not significantly different between the MT-MOCO and breath-hold, whereas conventional MOCO yielded significant differences in MD, FA, and HAT with MT-MOCO and FA with breath-hold. In heart failure patients, M2-MT-MOCO DT-MRI was feasible yielding higher MD, lower FA, and lower HAT compared with healthy volunteers. Substantial agreement was found between repeated scans across all subjects for MT-MOCO.

Conclusion: M2-MT-MOCO enables free-breathing DT-MRI of the entire left ventricle in 10 min, while preserving quantification of myocardial microstructure compared to breath-held and single-slice acquisitions and is feasible in heart failure patients.

Keywords: cardiac magnetic resonance; diffusion tensor MRI; low rank tensor; microstructure; motion correction; multitasking; myocardium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Motion
  • Myocardium
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Respiration