Impact of the Choice of Native T1 in Pixelwise Myocardial Blood Flow Quantification

Corina Kräuter, Ursula Reiter, Clemens Reiter, Volha Nizhnikava, Albrecht Schmidt, Rudolf Stollberger, Michael Fuchsjäger, Gert Reiter

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BACKGROUND: Quantification of myocardial blood flow (MBF) from dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI can be performed using a signal intensity model that incorporates T1 values of blood and myocardium.

PURPOSE: To assess the impact of T1 values on pixelwise MBF quantification, specifically to evaluate the influence of 1) study population-averaged vs. subject-specific, 2) diastolic vs. systolic, and 3) regional vs. global myocardial T1 values.

STUDY TYPE: Prospective.

SUBJECTS: Fifteen patients with chronic coronary heart disease.

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: 3T; modified Look-Locker inversion recovery for T1 mapping and saturation recovery gradient echo for DCE imaging, both acquired in a mid-ventricular short-axis slice in systole and diastole.

ASSESSMENT: MBF was estimated using Fermi modeling and signal intensity nonlinearity correction with different T1 values: study population-averaged blood and myocardial, subject-specific systolic and diastolic, and segmental T1 values. Myocardial segments with perfusion deficits were identified visually from DCE series.

STATISTICAL TESTS: The relationships between MBF parameters derived by different methods were analyzed by Bland-Altman analysis; corresponding mean values were compared by t-test.

RESULTS: Using subject-specific diastolic T1 values, global diastolic MBF was 0.61 ± 0.13 mL/(min·g). It did not differ from global MBF derived from the study population-averaged T1 (P = 0.88), but the standard deviation of differences was large (0.07 mL/(min·g), 11% of mean MBF). Global diastolic and systolic MBF did not differ (P = 0.12), whereas global diastolic MBF using systolic (0.62 ± 0.13 mL/(min·g)) and diastolic T1 values differed (P < 0.05). If regional instead of global T1 values were used, segmental MBF was lower in segments with perfusion deficits (bias = -0.03 mL/(min·g), -7% of mean MBF, P < 0.05) but higher in segments without perfusion deficits (bias = 0.01 mL/(min·g), 1% of mean MBF, P < 0.05).

DATA CONCLUSION: Whereas cardiac phase-specific T1 values have a minor impact on MBF estimates, subject-specific and myocardial segment-specific T1 values substantially affect MBF quantification.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-765
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
Early online date8 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • dynamic contrast enhancement
  • Fermi modeling
  • myocardial blood flow
  • nonlinearity correction
  • T1 mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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