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Keywords:

  • MRI;
  • heart;
  • fat;
  • chronic myocardial infarction;
  • arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia;
  • ARVD;
  • arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy;
  • ARVC;
  • lipoma;
  • phase-sensitive inversion recovery;
  • PSIR

Abstract

Conventional approaches for fat and water discrimination based on chemical-shift fat suppression have reduced ability to characterize fatty infiltration due to poor contrast of microscopic fat. The multiecho Dixon approach to water and fat separation has advantages over chemical-shift fat suppression: 1) water and fat images can be acquired in a single breathhold, avoiding misregistration; 2) fat has positive contrast; 3) the method is compatible with precontrast and late-enhancement imaging, 4) less susceptible to partial-volume effects, and 5) robust in the presence of background field variation; and 6) for the bandwidth implemented, chemical-shift artifact is decreased. The proposed technique was applied successfully in all 28 patients studied. This included 10 studies with indication of coronary artery disease (CAD), of which four cases with chronic myocardial infarction (MI) exhibited fatty infiltration; 13 studies to rule out arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), of which there were three cases with fibrofatty infiltration and two confirmed with ARVC; and five cases of cardiac masses (two lipomas). The precontrast contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of intramyocardial fat was greatly improved, by 240% relative to conventional fat suppression. For the parameters implemented, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was decreased by 30% relative to conventional late enhancement. The multiecho Dixon method for fat and water separation provides a sensitive means of detecting intramyocardial fat with positive signal contrast. Magn Reson Med 61:215–221, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.