SU-D-303-03: Impact of Uncertainty in T1 Measurements On Quantification of Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI




Quantification of dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI requires native longitudinal relaxation time (T1) measurement. This study aimed to assess uncertainty in T1 measurements using two different methods.

Methods and Materials:

Brain MRI scans were performed on a 3T scanner in 9 patients who had low grade/benign tumors and partial brain radiotherapy without chemotherapy at pre-RT, week-3 during RT (wk-3), end-RT, and 1, 6 and 18 months after RT. T1-weighted images were acquired using gradient echo sequences with 1) 2 different flip angles (50 and 150), and 2) 5 variable TRs (100–2000ms). After creating quantitative T1 maps, average T1 was calculated in regions of interest (ROI), which were distant from tumors and received a total of accumulated radiation doses < 5 Gy at wk-3. ROIs included left and right normal Putamen and Thalamus (gray matter: GM), and frontal and parietal white matter (WM). Since there were no significant or even a trend of T1 changes from pre-RT to wk-3 in these ROIs, a relative repeatability coefficient (RC) of T1 as a measure of uncertainty was estimated in each ROI using the data pre-RT and at wk-3. The individual T1 changes at later time points were evaluated compared to the estimated RCs.


The 2-flip angle method produced small RCs in GM (9.7–11.7%) but large RCs in WM (12.2–13.6%) compared to the saturation-recovery (SR) method (11.0–17.7% for GM and 7.5–11.2% for WM). More than 81% of individual T1 changes were within T1 uncertainty ranges defined by RCs.


Our study suggests that the impact of T1 uncertainty on physiological parameters derived from DCE MRI is not negligible. A short scan with 2 flip angles is able to achieve repeatability of T1 estimates similar to a long scan with 5 different TRs, and is desirable to be integrated in the DCE protocol.

Present study was supported by National Institute of Health (NIH) under grant numbers; UO1 CA183848 and RO1 NS064973