Nikola Stikov1, Ives R. Levesque2, Christine L. Tardif1, Jolle K. Barral3, G Bruce Pike1
1Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 2Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States; 3HeartVista, Inc., Los Altos, CA, United States
T1 mapping is critical for most quantitative MRI, yet there is a large variation of reported values in vivo, an inconsistency that highlights the issue of reproducibility and accuracy. We compare the three most common T1 mapping techniques (Inversion Recovery, Look-Locker and Variable Flip Angle), and show that despite good agreement in phantoms, there is a significant variation in brain T1 values when different techniques are applied to the same healthy subject. We compute the white matter T1 peak in 10 healthy subjects and observe a trend consistent with literature, with Look-Locker underestimating, and VFA overestimating the inversion recovery T1 values. Our findings suggest that phantom studies are not sufficient for validation of T1 mapping techniques.