T(2) mapping and diffusion-weighted imaging complement morphological imaging for assessing cartilage disease and injury. The double echo steady state sequence has been used for morphological imaging and generates two echoes with markedly different T(2) and diffusion weighting. Modifying the spoiler gradient area and flip angle of the double echo steady state sequence allows greater control of the diffusion weighting of both echoes. Data from two acquisitions with different spoiler gradient areas and flip angles are used to simultaneously estimate the T(2) and apparent diffusion coefficient of each voxel. This method is verified in phantoms and validated in vivo in the knee; estimates from different regions of interest in the phantoms and cartilage are compared to those obtained using standard spin-echo methods. The Pearson correlations were 0.984 for T(2) (~2% relative difference between spin-echo and double echo steady state estimates) and 0.997 for apparent diffusion coefficient (˜1% relative difference between spin-echo and double echo steady state estimates) for the phantom study and 0.989 for T(2) and 0.987 for apparent diffusion coefficient in regions of interest in the human knee in vivo. High accuracy for simultaneous three-dimensional T(2) and apparent diffusion coefficient measurements are demonstrated, while also providing morphologic three-dimensional images without blurring or distortion in reasonable scan times.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.23090
View details for Web of Science ID 000301533500022
View details for PubMedID 22179942
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3306505