Junfeng Kuang, Yulong Qi, Qiting Wu, Guanxun Cheng, Yin Wu

Demonstration of magnetic resonance Z‐spectral imaging for fatty acid characterization of bone marrow at 3 T

  • Spectroscopy
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Molecular Medicine

AbstractMagnetic resonance Z‐spectral imaging (ZSI) has emerged as a new approach to measure fat fraction (FF). However, its feasibility for fat spectral imaging remains to be elucidated. In this study, a single‐slice ZSI sequence dedicated to fat spectral imaging was designed, and its capability for fatty acid characterization was investigated on peanut oil samples, a multiple‐vial fat‐water phantom with varied oil volumes, and vertebral body marrow in healthy volunteers and osteoporosis patients at 3 T. The peanut oil spectrum was also recorded with a 400‐MHz NMR spectrometer. A Gaussian–Lorentzian sum model was used to resolve water and six fat signals of the pure oil sample or four fat signals of the fat‐water phantom or vertebral bone marrow from Z spectra. Fat peak amplitudes were normalized to the total peak amplitude of water and all fat signals. Normalized fat peak amplitudes and FF were quantified and compared among vials of the fat‐water phantom or between healthy volunteers and osteoporosis patients. An unpaired student's t‐test and Pearson's correlation were conducted, with p less than 0.05 considered statistically significant. The results showed that the peanut oil spectra measured with the ZSI technique were in line with respective NMR spectra, with amplitudes of the six fat signal peaks significantly correlated between the two methods (y = x + 0.001, r = 0.996, p < 0.001 under a repetition time of 1.6 s; and y = 1.026x ‐ 0.003, r = 0.996, p < 0.001 under a repetition time of 3.1 s). Moreover, ZSI‐measured FF exhibited a significant correlation with prepared oil volumes (y = 0.876x + 1.290, r = 0.996, p < 0.001). The osteoporosis patients showed significantly higher normalized fat peak amplitudes and FF in the L4 vertebral body marrow than the healthy volunteers (all p < 0.01). In summary, the designed ZSI sequence is feasible for fatty acid characterization, and has the potential to facilitate the diagnosis and evaluation of diseases associated with fat alterations at 3 T.

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