WARF: P120316US01

High-Resolution R2 Mapping with Chemical Species Separation


Scott Reeder, Diego Hernando Arribas, Valentina Taviani

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing methods for estimating transverse relaxation rate (R2*) while simultaneously performing water-fat separation using MRI.
OVERVIEWIn magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the amount of data required to reconstruct an image can be decreased using ‘partial k-space’ sampling. This type of sampling enables shorter breath-holds, reduced scan time and more flexibility in echo timing.

Such flexibility can improve noise performance and avoid water-fat swapping. It also helps measure transverse relaxation rate, or R2*, which has important applications like assessing iron content in the body and tracking superparamagnetic iron oxides.

However, reconstructions that take advantage of partial k-space sampling show problems. Results may be blurry and lose spatial resolution. Others require increased complexity. A new approach should overcome these drawbacks.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a method for producing a quantitative map of R2* while separating signal contributions from two or more chemical species, like fat and water.

The method works by producing quantitative R2* maps, quantitative fat fraction maps and separate R2*-corrected water and fat images. A low-resolution field map and a common water-fat phase are used to demodulate the effects of these parameters from the acquired data while separating the water and fat signals.

In this way, water, fat and R2* can be estimated simultaneously. A full resolution R2* map is reconstructed in addition to water, fat and fat fraction images that are corrected for the effects of R2*.
  • Clinical and preclinical imaging, including fat fraction and iron quantification in the presence of iron overload
  • Potentially fat quantification in the absence of iron overload
  • Detecting and tracking superparamagnetic iron oxide particles
  • Takes better advantage of partial k-space sampling
  • Provides full resolution quantitative R2* maps
  • Enables shorter breath holds and free-breathing scan times
  • Accounts for spectral complexity of fat and T2* signal decay, in contrast to previous methods
  • Works with chemical species other than water and fat, including silicon and hyperpolarized carbon-13
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
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