Sonia Nielles-Vallespin1, Choukri Mekkaoui2, Peter Gatehouse1, Timothy G. Reese2, Jenny Keegan1, Steve Collins1, Peter Speier3, Thorsten Feiweier3, Ranil de Silva1, Marcel P. Jackowski4, David E. Sosnovik2, David Firmin1
1Royal Brompton Hospital, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; 2Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States; 3Siemens AG Healthcare Sector, Germany; 4Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of So Paulo, Brazil
A novel modification of a prospective navigator technique was implemented to allow free-breathing (FB) in vivo DTI of the heart to be performed. 11 healthy volunteers were scanned on two different days; each day using both FB and breathhold (BH) diffusion-weighted stimulated-echo single-shot EPI protocols. Images were post-processed to derive mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy maps. Statistical analysis showed no significant differences between the BH and FB techniques for FA, and no major increase in scan duration. We show here for the first time that a free-breathing navigator-based approach to DTI produces high quality in vivo images of the heart.