Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging of epiphyseal bone marrow in the distal femoral condyle of the knee at 7T MRI. Methods: The knees of 7 healthy volunteers were imaged with ASL using a 7T whole body MRI scanner and a 28-channel knee coil. ASL imaging used a flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery method for labeling and a single-shot fast spin echo sequence for image readout. ASL imaging with a single oblique transverse slice was performed at 2 slice positions in the distal femoral condyle. Blood flow was measured in 2 regions of interest: the epiphyseal bone marrow and the overlying patellofemoral cartilage. To analyze perfusion SNR, 200 noise images were also acquired using the same ASL imaging protocol with RF pulses turned off. Results: Knee bone marrow perfusion imaging was successfully performed with all volunteers. The overall mean of blood flow in the knee bone marrow was 32.90 ± 2.41 mL/100 g/min, and the blood flow was higher at the more distal slice position. We observed significant B0 and B+ 1 inhomogeneities, which need to be addressed in the future to improve the quality of ASL imaging and increase the reliability of knee bone marrow perfusion measurements. Conclusion: Bone marrow perfusion imaging of the distal femoral condyle is feasible using ASL at 7T. Further technical development is needed to improve the ASL method to overcome existing challenges.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (P41 EB015894, R01AR070020, K01 AR070894, and UL1TR000114) and the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF0003900). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
© 2019 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- arterial spin labeling
- blood flow
- knee bone marrow
- magnetic resonance imaging
- ultra-high field