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Rotator cuff tendon assessment using magic-angle insensitive 3D ultrashort echo time cones magnetization transfer (UTE-Cones-MT) imaging and modeling with histological correlation.

  • Author(s): Zhu, Yanchun
  • Cheng, Xin
  • Ma, Yajun
  • Wong, Jonathan H
  • Xie, Yaoqin
  • Du, Jiang
  • Chang, Eric Y
  • et al.
Abstract

BACKGROUND:Rotator cuff tendons (RCTs) are challenging to image due to the "magic angle effect" and their short T2 . PURPOSE:To assess the degree of magic angle sensitivity of human RCTs and to utilize a 3D ultrashort echo time Cones sequence with magnetization transfer preparation (UTE-Cones-MT) and two-pool quantitative MT modeling with histological correlation. We hypothesized that MT parameters would be less sensitive to the magic angle compared with conventional T2 measurements. STUDY TYPE:Prospective imaging pathologic correlation. SPECIMEN:Twenty cadaveric rotator cuff tendons were imaged at five sample orientations ranging from 0-90° relative to the B0 field. FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE:3T/3D UTE-Cones-MT and Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill (CPMG). ASSESSMENT:Two-pool quantitative MT modeling parameters and T2 values were calculated in regions of interest drawn by a medical physicist. Histopathological analysis was performed and mild and severe tendinopathy groups were assigned by a histopathologist and histotechnician. STATISTICAL TESTS:Coefficients of variations (CVs) were calculated for measures between the different orientations and group means were compared for each measure. RESULTS:CVs of T2 and macromolecular fractions between orientations were 26.14 ± 16.82% and 6.18 ± 2.77% (mean ± SD), respectively. T2 measurements at 0°, 27°, 70°, and 90° showed significant differences between the two histological groups (P = 0.004, 0.008, 0.003, and 0.015, respectively), but not at 55° (P = 0.611). Mean T2 value ranges between orientations for the mild and severe tendinopathy groups were 15.27-30.32 msec and 20.81-35.85 msec, respectively, showing overlap despite statistically significant differences (P = 0.003). Macromolecular fractions at all angles showed significant differences between the two groups (P < 0.0001). Mean fraction ranges between orientations for the mild and severe tendinopathy groups were 14.32-17.17% and 10.00-13.75% respectively (P < 0.0001) with no overlap. DATA CONCLUSION:Compared with T2 , macromolecular fraction obtained with the 3D UTE-Cones-MT technique is resistant to the magic angle effect and is more sensitive to RCT degeneration. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:1 Technical Efficacy: Stage 2 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2017.

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