SU-E-J-223: A BOLD Contrast Imaging Sequence to Evaluate Oxygenation Changes Due to Breath Holding for Breast Radiotherapy: A Pilot Study




To develop a robust MRI sequence to measure BOLD breath hold induced contrast in context of breast radiotherapy.


Two sequences were selected from prior studies as candidates to measure BOLD contrast attributable to breath holding within the breast: (1) T2* based Gradient Echo EPI (TR/TE = 500/41ms, flip angle = 60°), and (2) T2 based Single Shot Fast Spin Echo (SSFSE) (TR/TE = 3000/60ms). We enrolled ten women post-lumpectomy for breast cancer who were undergoing treatment planning for whole breast radiotherapy. Each session utilized a 1.5T GE MRI and 4 channel breast coil with the subject immobilized prone on a custom board. For each sequence, 1–3 planes of the lumpectomy breast were imaged continuously during a background measurement (1min) and intermittent breath holds (20–40s per breath hold, 3–5 holds per sequence). BOLD contrast was quantified as correlation of changes in per-pixel intensity with the breath hold schedule convolved with a hemodynamic response function. Subtle motion was corrected using a deformable registration algorithm. Correlation with breath-holding was considered significant if p<0.001.


The percentage of the breast ROI with positive BOLD contrast measured by the two sequences were in agreement with a correlation coefficient of R=0.72 (p=0.02). While both sequences demonstrated areas with strong BOLD response, the response was more systematic throughout the breast for the SSFSE (T2) sequence (% breast with response in the same direction: 51.2%±0.7% for T2* vs. 68.1%±16% for T2). In addition, the T2 sequence was less prone to magnetic susceptibility artifacts, especially in presence of seroma, and provided a more robust image with little distortion or artifacts.


A T2 SSFSE sequence shows promise for measuring BOLD contrast in the context of breast radiotherapy utilizing a breath hold technique. Further study in a larger patient cohort is warranted to better refine this novel technique.