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Abstract #3111

Diffusion Tractography of the Entire Heart using Free-Breathing Accelerated Simultaneous Multislice Imaging

Choukri Mekkaoui1, Timothy G Reese1, Marcel P Jackowski2, Stephen F Cauley1, Kawin Setsompop1, William J Kostis3, Himanshu Bhat4, and David E Sosnovik1

1Harvard Medical School - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, United States, 2University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 3Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, 4Siemens Healthcare, Boston, MA, United States

We introduce an approach to perform free-breathing DTI and tractography of the whole heart based on simultaneous multislice excitation, sequential reordering of the diffusion-encoding gradients, combined with a retrospective entropy-based image alignment and selection method. The approach was tested in 7 healthy volunteers, in whom breath-hold and free-breathing scans were performed. Coherent tracts of the entire heart could be derived in all cases, and no significant differences were seen in mean diffusivity, fractional anisotropy, or myofiber helix angle. Accelerated free-breathing DTI of the entire heart could be performed in less than 15 minutes without significant loss of image quality.

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