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Fast quantitative 3D ultrashort echo time MRI of cortical bone using extended cones sampling

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To investigate the effect of stretching sampling window on quantitative 3D ultrashort TE (UTE) imaging of cortical bone at 3 T.


Ten bovine cortical bone and 17 human tibial midshaft samples were imaged with a 3T clinical MRI scanner using an 8-channel knee coil. Quantitative 3D UTE imaging biomarkers, including T1 , T2∗ , magnetization transfer ratio and magnetization transfer modeling, were performed using radial or spiral Cones sampling trajectories with various durations. Errors in UTE-MRI biomarkers as a function of sampling time were evaluated using radial sampling as a reference standard.


For both bovine and human cortical bone samples, no significant differences were observed for all UTE biomarkers (single-component T2∗ , bicomponent T2∗ and relative fractions, T1 , magnetization transfer ratio, and magnetization transfer modeling of macromolecular fraction) for spiral sampling windows of 992 µs to 1600 µs compared with a radial sampling window of 688 µs.


The total scan time can be reduced by 76% with quantification errors less than 5%. Quantitative UTE-MRI techniques can be greatly accelerated using longer sampling windows without significant quantification errors.

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