Rapid Whole-Knee Quantification of Cartilage Using T 1, T 2 , and T RAFF2 Mapping With Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting

Joao Tourais, Telly Ploem, Tijmen A.van Zadelhoff, Christal van de Steeg-Henzen, Edwin H.G. Oei, Sebastian Weingartner

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Objective: Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) holds great promise for the early detection of cartilage deterioration. Here, a Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (MRF) framework is proposed for comprehensive and rapid quantification of T 1, T 2 , and T RAFF2 with whole-knee coverage. Methods: A MRF framework was developed to achieve quantification of Relaxation Along a Fictitious Field in the 2nd rotating frame of reference (T RAFF2) along with T 1 and T 2 . The proposed sequence acquires 65 measurements of 25 high-resolution slices, interleaved with 7 inversion pulses and 40 RAFF2 trains, for whole-knee quantification in a total acquisition time of 3:25 min. Comparison with reference T 1, T 2 , and T RAFF2 methods was performed in phantom and in seven healthy subjects at 3 T. Repeatability (test-retest) with and without repositioning was also assessed. Results: Phantom measurements resulted in good agreement between MRF and the reference with mean biases of -54, 2, and 5 ms for T 1, T 2 , and T RAFF2, respectively. Complete characterization of the whole-knee cartilage was achieved for all subjects, and, for the femoral and tibial compartments, a good agreement between MRF and reference measurements was obtained. Across all subjects, the proposed MRF method yielded acceptable repeatability without repositioning (R 2≥ 0.94) and with repositioning (R 2≥ 0.57) for T 1, T 2 , and T RAFF2. Significance: The short scan time combined with the whole-knee coverage makes the proposed MRF framework a promising candidate for the early assessment of cartilage degeneration with quantitative MRI, but further research may be warranted to improve repeatability after repositioning and assess clinical value in patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3197-3205
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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  • Biomarkers
  • Cartilage
  • Dictionaries
  • Imaging
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Phantoms
  • Pulse measurements
  • Quantitative MRI
  • RAFF mapping
  • Whole-knee

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