Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has strong potential as a diagnostic for early cartilage damage, with clinical impact for diseases such as osteoarthritis. However, in vivo DWI of cartilage has proven difficult with conventional methods due to the short T2. This work presents a 3D steady-state DWI sequence that is able to image short-T2 species with high SNR. When combined with 2D navigator correction of motion-induced phase artifacts, this method enables high resolution in vivo DWI of cartilage. In vivo knee images in healthy subjects are presented with high SNR (SNR = 110) and submillimeter in-plane resolution (0.5 x 0.7 x 3.0 mm(3)). A method for fitting the diffusion coefficient is presented which produces fits within 10% of literature values. This method should be applicable to other short-T2 tissues, such as muscle, which are difficult to image using traditional DWI methods.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10696
View details for Web of Science ID 000188718600023
View details for PubMedID 14755666