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Open Access Research article

Rapid T1 quantification based on 3D phase sensitive inversion recovery

Marcel JB Warntjes12*, Johan Kihlberg13 and Jan Engvall2

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Medical Imaging Science and Visualization (CMIV), Linköping University, SE58185 Linköping, Sweden

2 Division of Clinical Physiology, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University Hospital, SE58185 Linköping, Sweden

3 Division of Radiology, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University Hospital, SE58185 Linköping, Sweden

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BMC Medical Imaging 2010, 10:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-10-19

Published: 17 August 2010



In Contrast Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging fibrotic myocardium can be distinguished from healthy tissue using the difference in the longitudinal T1 relaxation after administration of Gadolinium, the so-called Late Gd Enhancement. The purpose of this work was to measure the myocardial absolute T1 post-Gd from a single breath-hold 3D Phase Sensitivity Inversion Recovery sequence (PSIR). Equations were derived to take the acquisition and saturation effects on the magnetization into account.


The accuracy of the method was investigated on phantoms and using simulations. The method was applied to a group of patients with suspected myocardial infarction where the absolute difference in relaxation of healthy and fibrotic myocardium was measured at about 15 minutes post-contrast. The evolution of the absolute R1 relaxation rate (1/T1) over time after contrast injection was followed for one patient and compared to T1 mapping using Look-Locker. Based on the T1 maps synthetic LGE images were reconstructed and compared to the conventional LGE images.


The fitting algorithm is robust against variation in acquisition flip angle, the inversion delay time and cardiac arrhythmia. The observed relaxation rate of the myocardium is 1.2 s-1, increasing to 6 - 7 s-1 after contrast injection and decreasing to 2 - 2.5 s-1 for healthy myocardium and to 3.5 - 4 s-1 for fibrotic myocardium. Synthesized images based on the T1 maps correspond very well to actual LGE images.


The method provides a robust quantification of post-Gd T1 relaxation for a complete cardiac volume within a single breath-hold.