A high spatial resolution in vivo
1H magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging technique for the human breast at 3T
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PURPOSE: The technical challenges that have prevented routine proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H MRSI) examinations of the breast include insufficient spatial resolution, increased difficulties in shimming compared to the brain, and strong lipid contamination at short echo time (TE) at 1.5 T. The authors investigated the feasibility of high spatial resolution 1H MRSI of human breast cancer in a clinical setting at 3 T. METHODS: Ten patient studies (eight cancers and two benign lesions) were performed in a 3 T whole-body clinical imager using a pulse sequence consisting of optional outer volume presaturation, optional CHESS pulse for lipid suppression, CHESS pulse for water suppression, and standard 2D/3D PRESS pulse sequence with an elliptical weighted k-space sampling scheme. RESULTS: All ten studies were technically successful. The spectral quality was acceptable for all cases even the one with a 65 Hz width of water peak at half height. Choline (Cho) signals were clearly visible in malignant lesion areas, while there was no detectable Cho in normal appearing breast or in benign lesions. It was also observed that the distribution of Cho signal can be nonuniform across MRI demonstrated lesions. CONCLUSIONS: To the author's knowledge, this is the first 2D/3D MRSI study of human breast cancer with short TE (less than 135 ms) at 3 T and the highest spatial resolution (up to 0.25 cm3) to date. In conclusion, the authors have presented a robust technique for high spatial resolution in vivo 1H MRSI of human breast cancer that uses the combined advantages of high field, short TE, multivoxel, and high spatial resolution itself to overcome the major technical challenges and illustrated its potential for routine clinical examination as well as advantages over single-voxel techniques in studying metabolite heterogeneity.