Objective: The purpose of our study was to assess T2 and T2*relaxation time values of patella cartilage in healthy volunteers using three different coils at 3.0 Tesla MRI and their influence on the quantitative values. Methods: Fifteen volunteers were examined on the same 3-Tesla MR unit using three different coils: (i) a dedicated eight-channel knee phased-array coil; (ii) an eight-channel multi-purpose coil, and (iii) a one-channel 1H surface coil. T2 and T2*relaxation time measurements were prepared by a multi-echo spinecho respectively a gradient-echo sequence. A semi-automatic region-of-interest analysis was performed for patella cartilage. To allow stratification, a subregional analysis was carried out (deep-superficial cartilage layer). Statistical analysis-of-variance was performed. Results: The mean quantitative T2 values showed statistically significant differences in all comparison combinations. The differences between the mean quantitative T2*values were slightly less pronounced than the T2 evaluation and only the comparison between (i) and (ii) showed a significant difference. The results of T2 and T2*values showed, independent of the used coil, higher values in the superficial zone compared to the deep zone (p < 0.05). Looking at the signal alterations, all coils showed clearly higher values (and thus more signal alterations as a sign of noise) in the deep layer. The validation of the reliability showed a high intra-class correlation coefficient and hence a very high plausibility (ICC was between 0.870 and 0.905 for T2 mapping and between 0.879 and 0.888 for T2*mapping). Conclusions: The present results demonstrate that biochemical T2 and T2*mapping is significantly dependent on the utilized coil.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgements Support for this study was provided by the German Research Fondation (DFG) - DACH Grant WE 4881/1 "Multi-parametric visualization of knee joint ultra-structure: Validation of biochemical magnetic resonance imaging from bench to bedside".
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- T2 mapping