Magnetic Resonance in Medical Sciences
Online ISSN : 1880-2206
Print ISSN : 1347-3182
ISSN-L : 1347-3182
Advance online publication
Showing 1-50 articles out of 51 articles from Advance online publication
  • YingJie Kang, YiLei Chen, JieMing Fang, YanWen Huang, Hui Wang, ZhiGan ...
    Article ID: mp.2021-0084
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 17, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Purpose: To compare the performance of a 12-channel flexible head coil (HFC12) with commercial 16-channel (HRC16) and 24-channel (HRC24) rigid coils.

    Methods: The phantom study was performed on a 1.5 T MR scanner with HFC12, HRC16, and HRC24. The SNR and noise correlation matrix of T1WI, T2WI, and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) were measured. The SNR profiles were created according to the SNR. In addition, 1/g-factors were calculated in different acceleration directions. In the in vivo study, T1WI, T2WI, and DWI were performed in one healthy volunteer with three different coils. The SNR and noise correlation matrix were measured.

    Results: In the phantom study and in vivo study, the SNR of HFC12 in the transverse, sagittal, and coronal planes was the highest, followed by HRC24, and that of HRC16 was the lowest. The SNR profiles showed that the SNR at the edge of HFC12 was the highest. The mean value of the noise correlation matrix of HFC12 was the highest. The 1/g-factor results showed that HFC12 obtained the best acceleration ability in the head–foot acceleration direction when the reduction factor was set to two. The SNR of HFC12 in most cortices was significantly higher than that of HRC16 and HRC24, except in the occipital cortex. The SNR of HRC24 in the occipital cortex was higher than that of HFC12.

    Conclusion: The SNR of HFC12 in T1WI, T2WI, and DWI was better than that of the HRC24 and HFC16. The SNR of HFC12 in the cortex was significantly higher than that of the commercial rigid head coil, except in the occipital cortex.

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  • Hidenori Takeshima
    Article ID: rev.2021-0040
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 17, 2021

    This article presents an overview of deep learning (DL) and its applications to function approximation for MR in medicine. The aim of this article is to help readers develop various applications of DL. DL has made a large impact on the literature of many medical sciences, including MR. However, its technical details are not easily understandable for non-experts of machine learning (ML).

    The first part of this article presents an overview of DL and its related technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and ML. AI is explained as a function that can receive many inputs and produce many outputs. ML is a process of fitting the function to training data. DL is a kind of ML, which uses a composite of many functions to approximate the function of interest. This composite function is called a deep neural network (DNN), and the functions composited into a DNN are called layers. This first part also covers the underlying technologies required for DL, such as loss functions, optimization, initialization, linear layers, non-linearities, normalization, recurrent neural networks, regularization, data augmentation, residual connections, autoencoders, generative adversarial networks, model and data sizes, and complex-valued neural networks.

    The second part of this article presents an overview of the applications of DL in MR and explains how functions represented as DNNs are applied to various applications, such as RF pulse, pulse sequence, reconstruction, motion correction, spectroscopy, parameter mapping, image synthesis, and segmentation.

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  • Tomoko Maekawa, Masaaki Hori, Katsutoshi Murata, Thorsten Feiweier, Ko ...
    Article ID: ici.2021-0083
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 10, 2021

    Oscillating-gradient spin-echo sequences enable the measurement of diffusion weighting with a short diffusion time and can provide indications of internal structures. We report two cases of brain abscess in which the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values appear higher at short diffusion times in comparison with those at long diffusion times. Diffusion time dependence of the ADC in brain abscesses suggests not only substrate viscosity but also restricted diffusion due to the structure within the lesions.

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  • Kenichiro Takahashi, Tetsuro Sekine, Takahiro Ando, Yosuke Ishii, Shin ...
    Article ID: rev.2021-0046
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 08, 2021

    Despite the recent technical developments, surgery on the thoracic aorta remains challenging and is associated with significant mortality and morbidity. Decisions about when and if to operate are based on a balance between surgical risk and the hazard of aortic rupture. These decisions are sometimes difficult in elective cases of thoracic aortic diseases, including aneurysms and dissections. Abnormal wall stress derived from flow alterations influences disease progression. Therefore, a better understanding of the complex hemodynamic environment inside the aortic lumen will facilitate patient-specific risk assessments of complications, which enable clinicians to provide timely prophylactic interventions. Time-resolved 3D phase-contrast (4D flow) MRI has many advantages for the in vivo assessment of flow dynamics. Recent developments in 4D flow imaging techniques has led to significant advances in our understanding of physiological flow dynamics in healthy subjects and patients with thoracic aortic diseases. In this clinically focused review of thoracic aortic diseases, we demonstrate the clinical advances acquired with 4D flow MRI from published studies. We provide a systematic overview of key evidences and considerations regarding normal thoracic aortas, thoracic aortic aneurysms, aortic dissections, and thoracic aortas with prosthetic graft replacement.

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  • Masato Yoshikawa, Kohsuke Kudo, Taisuke Harada, Kazutaka Harashima, Ju ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0175
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 04, 2021

    Purpose: The staging of liver fibrosis is clinically important, and a less invasive method is preferred. Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) has shown a great potential in estimating liver fibrosis in addition to R2* relaxometry. However, few studies have compared QSM analysis and liver fibrosis. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of estimating liver fibrosis by using QSM and R2*-based histogram analyses by comparing it with ultrasound-based transient elastography and the stage of histologic fibrosis.

    Methods: Fourteen patients with liver disease were enrolled. Data sets of multi-echo gradient echo sequence with breath-holding were acquired on a 3-Tesla scanner. QSM and R2* were reconstructed by water–fat separation method, and ROIs were analyzed for these images. Quantitative parameters with histogram features (mean, variance, skewness, kurtosis, and 1st, 10th, 50th, 90th, and 99th percentiles) were extracted. These data were compared with the elasticity measured by ultrasound transient elastography and histological stage of liver fibrosis (F0 to F4, based on the new Inuyama classification) determined by biopsy or hepatectomy. The correlation of histogram parameters with intrahepatic elasticity and histologically confirmed fibrosis stage was examined. Texture parameters were compared between subgroups divided according to fibrosis stage. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was also performed. P < 0.05 indicated statistical significance.

    Results: The six histogram parameters of both QSM and R2*were significantly correlated with intrahepatic elasticity. In particular, three parameters (variance, percentiles [90th and 99th]) of QSM showed high correlation (r = 0.818–0.844), whereas R2* parameters showed a moderate correlation with elasticity. Four parameters of QSM were significantly correlated with fibrosis stage (ρ = 0.637–0.723) and differentiated F2–4 from F0–1 fibrosis and F3–4 from F0–2 fibrosis with areas under the ROC curve of > 0.8, but those of R2* did not.

    Conclusion: QSM may serve as a promising surrogate indicator in detecting liver fibrosis.

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  • Satoshi Otani, Aki Kido, Yuki Himoto, Akihiko Sakata, Tomoaki Otani, R ...
    Article ID: mp.2021-0003
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 03, 2021

    Purpose: To compare the diagnostic performance of dynamic contrast-enhanced-MR (DCE-MR) and delayed contrast-enhanced (CE)-MRI added to unenhanced MRI, including diffusion weighted image (DWI) for differentiating malignant adnexal tumors, conducting a retrospective blinded image interpretation study.

    Methods: Data of 80 patients suspected of having adnexal tumors by ultrasonography between April 2008 and August 2018 were used for the study. All patients had undergone preoperative MRI and surgical resection at our institution. Four radiologists (two specialized in gynecological radiology and two non-specialized) were enrolled for blinded review of the MR images. A 3-point scale was used: 0 = benign, 1 = indeterminate, and 2 = malignant. Three imaging sets were reviewed: Set A, unenhanced MRI including DWI; Set B, Set A and delayed CE-T1WI; and Set C, Set A and DCE-MRI. Imaging criteria for benign and malignant tumors were given in earlier reports. The diagnostic performance of the three imaging sets of the four readers was calculated. Their areas under the curve (AUCs) were compared using the DeLong method.

    Results: Accuracies of Set B were 81%–88%. Those of Set C were 81%–85%. The AUCs of Set B were 0.83 and 0.89. Those of Set C were 0.81–0.86. For two readers, Set A showed lower accuracy and AUC than Set B/Set C (less than 0.80), although those were equivalent in other readers. No significant difference in AUCs was found among the three sequence sets. Intrareader agreement was moderate to almost perfect in Sets A and B, and substantial to almost perfect in Set C.

    Conclusion: DCE-MR showed no superiority for differentiating malignant adnexal tumors from benign tumors compared to delayed CE-T1WI with conventional MR and DWI.

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  • Mai Banjar, Saya Horiuchi, David N. Gedeon, Hiroshi Yoshioka
    Article ID: rev.2021-0052
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: September 01, 2021

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent disorders in today’s society, resulting in significant socio-economic costs and morbidity. MRI is widely used as a non-invasive imaging tool for OA of the knee. However, conventional knee MRI has limitations to detect subtle early cartilage degeneration before morphological changes are visually apparent. Novel MRI pulse sequences for cartilage assessment have recently received increased attention due to newly developed compositional MRI techniques, including: T2 mapping, T1rho mapping, delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC), sodium MRI, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)/ diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), ultrashort TE (uTE), and glycosaminoglycan specific chemical exchange saturation transfer (gagCEST) imaging. In this article, we will first review these quantitative assessments. Then, we will discuss the variations of quantitative values of knee articular cartilage with cartilage layer (depth)- and angle (regional)-dependent approaches. Multiple MRI sequence techniques can discern qualitative differences in knee cartilage. Normal articular hyaline cartilage has a zonal variation in T2 relaxation times with increasing T2 values from the subchondral bone to the articular surface. T1rho values were also higher in the superficial layer than in the deep layer in most locations in the medial and lateral femoral condyles, including the weight-bearing portion. Magic angle effect on T2 mapping is clearly observed in the both medial and lateral femoral condyles, especially within the deep layers. One of the limitations for clinical use of these compositional assessments is a long scan time. Recent new approaches with compressed sensing (CS) and MR fingerprinting (MRF) have potential to provide accurate and fast quantitative cartilage assessments.

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  • Junqin Zhang, Yuxi Ge, Heng Zhang, Zi Wang, Weiqiang Dou, Shudong Hu
    Article ID: mp.2021-0067
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: August 21, 2021

    Purpose: Mucinous adenocarcinoma (MA) is associated with worse clinicopathological characteristics and a poorer prognosis than non-MA. Moreover, MA is related to worse tumor regression grade and tumor downstaging than non-MA. This study investigated whether lesions in MA and non-MA can be quantitatively assessed by T2 mapping technique and compared with the diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI).

    Methods: High-resolution MRI, DWI, and T2 mapping were performed on 81 patients diagnosed with rectal cancer via biopsy. Afterward, T2 and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were manually measured by a senior and a junior radiologist independently. By examining surgical specimens, the patients with MA and non-MA were identified. Inter-observer reproducibility was tested, and T2 and ADC values were compared using Mann–Whitney U test. Finally, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were drawn to determine the cut-off value.

    Results: Of the 81 patients, 11 patients with MA were confirmed by pathology. The inter-observer reproducibility of T2 and ADC values showed an excellent intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.993 and 0.913, respectively. MA had higher T2 (87.9 ± 5.11 ms) (P = 0.000) and ADC (2.03 × 10−3 mm2/s) (P = 0.000) values than non-MA (66.6 ± 6.86 ms and 1.17 × 10−3 mm2/s, respectively). The area under the ROC curves (AUC) of the T2 and ADC values were 0.999 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.953–1) and 0.979 (95% CI: 0.920–0.998), respectively. When the cutoff value in T2 mapping was 80 ms, the Youden index was the largest, sensitivity was 100%, and specificity was 97%.

    Conclusion: As a stable quantitative sequence, T2 mapping of MRI is useful in differentiating MA from non-MA. Compared to ADC values, T2 values are also diagnostically effective and non-inferior to ADC values.

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  • Takamichi Murakami, Keitaro Sofue, Masatoshi Hori
    Article ID: rev.2021-0031
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: August 21, 2021

    Gadolinium ethoxybenzyl diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA; Gadoxetic acid; Gadoxetate disodium) is a hepatocyte-specific MR contrast agent. It acts as an extracellular contrast agent in the early phase after intravenous injection, and then is taken up by hepatocytes later. Using this contrast agent, we can evaluate the hemodynamics of the liver and liver tumors, and can therefore improve the detection and characterization of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Gd-EOB-DTPA helps in the more accurate detection of hypervascular HCC than by other agents. In addition, Gd-EOB-DTPA can detect hypovascular HCC, which is an early stage of the multi-stage carcinogenesis, with a low signal in the hepatobiliary phase. In addition to tumor detection and characterization, Gd-EOB-DTPA contrast-enhanced MR imaging can be applied for liver function evaluation and prognoses evaluation. Thus, Gd-EOB-DTPA plays an important role in the diagnosis of HCC. However, we have to employ optimal imaging techniques to improve the diagnostic ability. In this review, we aimed to discuss the characteristics of the contrast media, optimal imaging techniques, diagnosis, and applications.

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  • Noriko Aida
    Article ID: rev.2021-0055
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: August 21, 2021

    MRI interpretations of the pediatric brain are often challenging for general radiologists and clinicians because MR signals and morphology are continuously changing in the developing brain. Furthermore, the developing brain reacts differently to injuries, resulting in imaging characteristics that differ from those of the mature brain. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) is a non-invasive method for assessing neurological abnormalities at the microscopic level and measures in vivo brain metabolites using a clinical MR machine. In MR examinations of the pediatric brain, 1H-MRS demonstrates its powerful diagnostic capability when MRI is insufficient for diagnostic features. MRI and 1H-MRS may be complementary tools for diagnosing and monitoring diseases. However, there is currently no consensus on how to include 1H-MRS in clinical MR examinations. An overview of the clinical implementation of 1H-MRS for the assessment of early pediatric developmental brains as well as the diagnosis, prognostification, and disease monitoring of various non-neoplastic brain disorders, including neonatal encephalopathies and neurometabolic/neurodegenerative diseases, was provided herein. Qualitative and quantitative 1H-MRS is a powerful non-invasive tool for accessing various brain metabolites to confirm age appropriate peaks and detect abnormal peaks or deficient or reduced peaks, which may facilitate the identification of metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders as well as damage associated with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Moreover, 1H-MRS has potential as a biomarker for monitoring therapeutic efficacy in metabolic diseases and neonatal HIE. It also provides insights into the pathophysiologies of various disorders, which may facilitate the use of novel therapeutic approaches. Therefore, 1H-MRS needs to be included more frequently in routine clinical MR examinations of pediatric patients with neurological disorders.

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  • Shinsuke Koike, Akiko Uematsu, Daiki Sasabayashi, Norihide Maikusa, Ts ...
    Article ID: rev.2021-0050
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: August 19, 2021

    Schizophrenia is a common severe psychiatric disorder that affects approximately 1% of general population through the life course. Historically, in Kraepelin’s time, schizophrenia was a disease unit conceptualized as dementia praecox; however, since then, the disease concept has changed. Recent MRI studies had shown that the neuropathology of the brain in this disorder was characterized by mild progression before and after the onset of the disease, and that the brain alterations were relatively smaller than assumed. Although genetic factors contribute to the brain alterations in schizophrenia, which are thought to be trait differences, other changes include factors that are common in psychiatric diseases. Furthermore, it has been shown that the brain differences specific to schizophrenia were relatively small compared to other changes, such as those caused by brain development, aging, and gender. In addition, compared to the disease and participant factors, machine and imaging protocol differences could affect MRI signals, which should be addressed in multi-site studies. Recent advances in MRI modalities, such as multi-shell diffusion-weighted imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and multimodal brain imaging analysis, may be candidates to sharpen the characterization of schizophrenia-specific factors and provide new insights. The Brain/MINDS Beyond Human Brain MRI (BMB-HBM) project has been launched considering the differences and noises irrespective of the disease pathologies and includes the future perspectives of MRI studies for various psychiatric and neurological disorders. The sites use restricted MRI machines and harmonized multi-modal protocols, standardized image preprocessing, and traveling subject harmonization. Data sharing to the public will be planned in FY 2024. In the future, we believe that combining a high-quality human MRI dataset with genetic data, randomized controlled trials, and MRI for non-human primates and animal models will enable us to understand schizophrenia, elucidate its neural bases and therapeutic targets, and provide tools for clinical application at bedside.

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  • Tomohisa Okada, Thai Akasaka, Dinh HD Thuy, Tadashi Isa
    Article ID: rev.2021-0063
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: August 06, 2021

    After introduction of the first human 7 tesla (7T) system in 1999, 7T MR systems have been employed as one of the most advanced platforms for human MR research for more than 20 years. Currently, two 7T MR models are approved for clinical use in the U.S.A. The approval facilitated introduction of the 7T system, summing up to around 100 worldwide. The approval in Japan is much awaited. As a clinical MR scanner, the 7T MR system is drawing attention in terms of safety.

    Several large-sized studies on bioeffects have been reported for vertigo, dizziness, motion disturbances, nausea, and others. Such effects might also be found in MR workers and researchers. Frequency and severity of reported bioeffects will be presented and discussed, including their variances. The high resonance frequency and shorter RF wavelength of 7T increase the concern about the safety. Homogeneous RF pulse excitation is difficult even for the brain, and a multi-channel parallel transmit (pTx) system is considered mandatory. However, pTx may create a hot spot, which makes the estimation of specific absorption rate (SAR) to be difficult. The stronger magnetic field of 7T causes a large force of displacement and heating on metallic implants or devices, and the scan of patients with them should not be conducted at 7T. However, there are some opinions that such patients might be scanned even at 7T, if certain criteria are met. This article provides a brief review on the effect of the static magnetic field on humans (MR subjects, workers, and researchers) and neurons, in addition to scan sound, SAR, and metal implants and devices. Understanding and avoiding adverse effects will contribute to the reduction in safety risks and the prevention of incidents.

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  • Tokunori Kimura, Kousuke Yamashita, Kouta Fukatsu
    Article ID: mp.2021-0007
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: July 22, 2021

    Purpose: This study proposes and assesses a new diffusion MRI (dMRI) technique to solve problems related to the quantification of parameter maps (apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC] or mean diffusivity [MD], fractional anisotropy [FA]) and misdrawing of fiber tractography (FT) due to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-partial volume effects (PVEs) for brain tissues by combining with the T2-based water suppression (T2wsup) technique.

    Methods: T2wsup–diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) images were obtained by subtracting those images from the acquired multi-b value (b) DWI images after correcting the signal intensities of multiecho time (TE) images using long TE water signal-dominant images. Quantitative parameter maps and FT were obtained from minimum data points and were compared with those using the standard (without wsup) DWI method, and partly compared with those obtained using other alternative DWI methods of applying fluid attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR), non-b-zero (NBZ) by theoretical or noise-added simulation and MR images.

    Results: In the T2wsup-dMRI method, the hyperintense artifacts due to CSF-PVEs in MRI data were dramatically suppressed even at lower b (≲ 500 s/mm2) while keeping the tissue SNR. The quantitative parameter map values became precisely close to the pure tissue values precisely even in water (CSF) PVE voxels in healthy brain tissues (T2 ≲ 100 ms). Furthermore, the fiber tracts were correctly connected, particularly at the fornix in closest contact to the CSF.

    Conclusion: Solving the problem of CSF-PVE in the current dMRI technique using our proposed T2wsup-dMRI technique is easy, with higher SNR than those obtained with FLAIR or NBZ methods when applying to healthy brain tissues. The proposed T2wsup–dMRI could be useful in clinical settings, although further optimization of the pulse sequence and processing techniques and clinical assessments are required, particularly for long T2 lesions.

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  • Satoshi Nakajima, Yasutaka Fushimi, Takeshi Funaki, Gosuke Okubo, Akih ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0174
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: July 30, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Purpose: Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) is an essential sequence for evaluating pediatric patients with moyamoya disease (MMD); however, acoustic noise associated with DWI may lead to motion artifact. Compared with conventional DWI (cDWI), quiet DWI (qDWI) is considered less noisy and able to keep children more relaxed and stable. This study aimed to evaluate the suitability of qDWI compared with cDWI for pediatric patients with MMD.

    Methods: In this observational study, MR examinations of the brain were performed either with or without sedation in pediatric patients with MMD between September 2017 and August 2018. Three neuroradiologists independently evaluated the images for artifacts and restricted diffusion in the brain. The differences between qDWI and cDWI were compared statistically using a chi-square test.

    Results: One-hundred and six MR scans of 56 patients with MMD (38 scans of 15 sedated patients: 6 boys and 9 girls; mean age, 5.2 years; range, 1–9 years; and 68 scans of 42 unsedated patients: 19 boys and 23 girls; mean age, 10.7 years; range, 7–16 years) were evaluated. MR examinations were performed either with or without sedation (except in one patient). In sedated patients, no artifact other than susceptibility was observed on qDWI, whereas four artifacts were observed on cDWI (P = .04). One patient awoke from sedation during cDWI scanning, while no patient awoke from sedation during qDWI acquisition. For unsedated patients, three scans showed artifacts on qDWI, whereas two scans showed artifacts on cDWI (P = .65). Regarding restricted diffusion, qDWI revealed three cases, while two cases were found on cDWI (P = .66).

    Conclusion: qDWI induced fewer artifacts compared with cDWI in sedated patients, and similar frequencies of artifacts were induced by qDWI and by cDWI in unsedated patients. qDWI showed restricted diffusion comparable to cDWI.

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  • Yu Hohri, Keiichi Itatani, Akiko Matsuo, Yoshiaki Komori, Takeshi Okam ...
    Article ID: mp.2021-0001
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: July 30, 2021

    Purpose: In aortic stenosis (AS), the discrepancy between moderately accelerated flow and effective orifice area (EOA) continues to pose a challenge. We developed a method of measuring the vena contracta area as hemodynamic EOA using cardiac MRI focusing on AS patients with a moderately accelerated flow to solve the problem that AS severity can currently be determined only by echocardiography.

    Methods: We investigated 40 patients with a peak transvalvular velocity > 3.0 m/s on transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). The patients were divided into highly accelerated and moderately accelerated AS groups according to whether or not the peak transvalvular velocity was ≥ 4.0 m/s. From the multislice 2D cine phase-contrast MRI data, the cross-sectional area of the vena contracta of the reconstructed streamline in the Valsalva sinus was defined as MRI-EOAs. Patient symptoms and echocardiography data, including EOA (defined as TTE-EOA), were derived from the continuity equation using TTE.

    Results: All participants in the highly accelerated AS group (n = 19) showed a peak velocity ≥ 4.0 m/s in MRI. Eleven patients in the moderately accelerated AS group (n = 21) had a TTE-EOA < 1.00 cm2. In the moderately accelerated AS group, MRI-EOAs demonstrated a strong correlation with TTE-EOAs (r = 0.76, P < 0.01). Meanwhile, in the highly accelerated AS group, MRI-EOAs demonstrated positivity but a moderate correlation with TTE-EOAs (r = 0.63, P = 0.004). MRI-EOAs were overestimated compared to TTE-EOAs. In terms of the moderately accelerated AS group, the best cut-off value for MRI-EOAs was < 1.23 cm2, compatible with TTE-EOAs < 1.00 cm2, with an excellent prediction of the New York Heart Association classification ≥ III (sensitivity 87.5%, specificity 76.9%).

    Conclusion: MRI-EOAs may be an alternative to conventional echocardiography for patients with moderately accelerated AS, especially those with discordant echocardiographic parameters.

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  • Ryoichi Kose, Katsumi Kose, Yasuhiko Terada
    Article ID: tn.2021-0054
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: July 30, 2021

    A 4D numerical phantom, which is defined in the 3D spatial axes and the resonance frequency axis, is indispensable for Bloch simulations of biological tissues with complex distribution of materials. In this study, a 4D numerical phantom was created using MR image datasets of a biological sample containing water and fat, and the Bloch simulations were performed using the 4D numerical phantom. As a result, 3D images of the sample containing water and fat were successfully reproduced, which demonstrated the usefulness of the concept of the 4D numerical phantom.

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  • Syo Murata, Akifumi Hagiwara, Hideyoshi Kaga, Yuki Someya, Kiyotaka Ne ...
    Article ID: tn.2020-0034
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: July 22, 2021
    Supplementary material

    The volumes of intracranial tissues of 40 healthy volunteers acquired from 0.3- and 3-T scanners were compared using intraclass correlation coefficients, correlation analyses, and Bland-Altman analyses. We found high intraclass correlation coefficients, high Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and low percentage biases in all tissues and most of the brain regions, although small differences were observed in some areas. These findings may support the validity of brain volumetry with low-field magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • Shigeharu Ohyu, Mitsuhiro Tozaki, Michiro Sasaki, Hisae Chiba, Qilin X ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0160
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: June 26, 2021

    Purpose: We evaluated the diagnostic performance of the texture features of dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI for breast cancer diagnosis in which the discriminator was optimized, so that the specificity was maximized via the restriction of the negative predictive value (NPV) to greater than 98%.

    Methods: Histologically proven benign and malignant mass lesions of DCE MRI were enrolled retrospectively. Training and testing sets consist of 166 masses (49 benign, 117 malignant) and 50 masses (15 benign, 35 malignant), respectively. Lesions were classified via MRI review by a radiologist into 4 shape types: smooth (S-type, 34 masses in training set and 8 masses in testing set), irregular without rim-enhancement (I-type, 60 in training and 14 in testing), irregular with rim-enhancement (R-type, 56 in training and 22 in testing), and spicula (16 in training and 6 in testing). Spicula were immediately classified as malignant. For the remaining masses, 298 texture features were calculated using a parametric map of DCE MRI in 3D mass regions. Masses were classified into malignant or benign using two thresholds on a feature pair. On the training set, several feature pairs and their thresholds were selected and optimized for each mass shape type to maximize specificity with the restriction of NPV > 98%. NPV and specificity were computed using the testing set by comparison with histopathologic results and averaged on the selected feature pairs.

    Results: In the training set, 27, 12, and 15 texture feature pairs are selected for S-type, I-type, and R-type masses, respectively, and thresholds are determined. In the testing set, average NPV and specificity using the selected texture features were 99.0% and 45.2%, respectively, compared to the NPV (85.7%) and specificity (40.0%) in visually assessed MRI category-based diagnosis.

    Conclusion: We, therefore, suggest that the NPV of our texture-based features method described performs similarly to or greater than the NPV of the MRI category-based diagnosis.

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  • Noriko Oyama-Manabe, Tadao Aikawa, Satonori Tsuneta, Osamu Manabe
    Article ID: rev.2021-0030
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: June 25, 2021

    4D flow MRI allows time-resolved 3D velocity-encoded phase-contrast imaging for 3D visualization and quantification of aortic and intracardiac flow. Radiologists should be familiar with the principles of 4D flow MRI and methods for evaluating blood flow qualitatively and quantitatively. The most substantial benefits of 4D flow MRI are that it enables the simultaneous comprehensive assessment of different vessels, and that retrospective analysis can be achieved in all vessels in any direction in the field of view, which is especially beneficial for patients with complicated congenital heart disease (CHD). For aortic valvular diseases, new parameters such as wall shear stress and energy loss may provide new prognostic values for 4D flow MRI. In this review, we introduce the clinical applications of 4D flow MRI for the visualization of blood flow and quantification of hemodynamic metrics in the setting of aortic valvular disease and CHD, including intracardiac shunt and coronary artery anomaly.

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  • Hajime Sakuma, Masaki Ishida
    Article ID: rev.2021-0033
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: June 09, 2021

    Stress myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is the preferred test in patients with intermediate-to-high clinical likelihood of coronary artery disease (CAD) and can be used as a gatekeeper to avoid unnecessary revascularization. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) has a number of favorable characteristics, including: (1) high spatial resolution that can delineate subendocardial ischemia; (2) comprehensive assessment of morphology, global and regional cardiac functions, tissue characterization, and coronary artery stenosis; and (3) no radiation exposure to patients. According to meta-analysis studies, the diagnostic accuracy of perfusion CMR is comparable to positron emission tomography (PET) and perfusion CT, and is better than single-photon emission CT (SPECT) when fractional flow reserve (FFR) is used as a reference standard. In addition, stress CMR has an excellent prognostic value. One meta-analysis study demonstrated the annual event rate of cardiovascular death or non-fatal myocardial infarction was 4.9% and 0.8%, respectively, in patients with positive and negative stress CMR. Quantitative assessment of perfusion CMR not only allows the objective evaluation of regional ischemia but also provides insights into the pathophysiology of microvascular disease and diffuse subclinical atherosclerosis. For accurate quantification of myocardial perfusion, saturation correction of arterial input function is important. There are two major approaches for saturation correction, one is a dual-bolus method and the other is a dual-sequence method. Absolute quantitative mapping with myocardial perfusion CMR has good accuracy in detecting coronary microvascular dysfunction. Flow measurement in the coronary sinus (CS) with phase contrast cine CMR is an alternative approach to quantify global coronary flow reserve (CFR). The measurement of global CFR by quantitative analysis of perfusion CMR or flow measurement in the CS permits assessment of microvascular disease and diffuse subclinical atherosclerosis, which may provide improved prediction of future event risk in patients with suspected or known CAD. Multi-institutional studies to validate the diagnostic and prognostic values of quantitative perfusion CMR approaches are required.

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  • Joji Ando, Kimiko Yamamoto
    Article ID: rev.2021-0018
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: May 22, 2021

    Cells in the tissues and organs of a living body are subjected to mechanical forces, such as pressure, friction, and tension from their surrounding environment. Cells are equipped with a mechanotransduction mechanism by which they perceive mechanical forces and transmit information into the cell interior, thereby causing physiological or pathogenetic mechano-responses. Endothelial cells (ECs) lining the inner surface of blood vessels are constantly exposed to shear stress caused by blood flow and a cyclic strain caused by intravascular pressure. A number of studies have shown that ECs are sensitive to changes in these hemodynamic forces and alter their morphology and function, sometimes by modifying gene expression. The mechanism of endothelial mechanotransduction has been elucidated, and the plasma membrane has recently been shown to act as a mechanosensor. The lipid order and cholesterol content of plasma membranes change immediately upon the exposure of ECs to hemodynamic forces, resulting in a change in membrane fluidity. These changes in a plasma membrane’s physical properties affect the conformation and function of various ion channels, receptors, and microdomains (such as caveolae and primary cilia), thereby activating a wide variety of downstream signaling pathways. Such endothelial mechanotransduction works to maintain circulatory homeostasis; however, errors in endothelial mechanotransduction can cause abnormalities in vascular physiological function, leading to the initiation and progression of various vascular diseases, such as hypertension, thrombosis, aneurysms, and atherosclerosis. Recent advances in detailed imaging technology and computational fluid dynamics analysis have enabled us to evaluate the hemodynamic forces acting on vascular tissue accurately, contributing greatly to our understanding of vascular mechanotransduction and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases, as well as the development of new therapies for vascular diseases.

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  • Yoshitaka Masutani
    Article ID: rev.2021-0005
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: May 21, 2021

    In this paper, fundamentals and recent progress for obtaining biological features quantitatively by using diffusion MRI are reviewed. First, a brief description of diffusion MRI history, application, and development was presented. Then, well-known parametric models including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI), and neurite orientation dispersion diffusion imaging (NODDI) are introduced with several classifications in various viewpoints with other modeling schemes. In addition, this review covers mathematical generalization and examples of methodologies for the model parameter inference from conventional fitting to recent machine learning approaches, which is called Q-space learning (QSL). Finally, future perspectives on diffusion MRI parameter inference are discussed with the aspects of imaging modeling and simulation.

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  • Koichi Ito, Emiko Chiba, Noriko Oyama-Manabe, Satoshi Washino, Osamu M ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0182
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: May 15, 2021

    Purpose: To assess the diagnostic performance of the tumor contact length (TCL) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) for predicting extraprostatic extension (EPE) of prostate cancer with capsular abutment (CA).

    Methods: Ninety-three patients with biopsy-proven prostate cancer underwent 3-Tesla MRI, including diffusion-weighted imaging (b value = 0, 2000 s/mm2) and radical prostatectomy. Two experienced radiologists, blinded to the clinicopathological data, retrospectively assessed the presence of CA on T2-weighted imaging (T2WI). TCL on T2WI and ADC values were measured on detecting CA in prostate cancer. We used the receiver operating characteristic curves to assess the diagnostic performance of TCL and ADC values for predicting EPE.

    Results: CA was present in 58 prostate cancers among 93 patients. The cut-off value for TCL was 6.9 mm, which yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.75. This corresponded to a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 84.2%, 61.5%, and 69.0%, respectively. The cut-off value for ADC was 0.63 × 10–3 mm2/s, which yielded an AUC of 0.76. This, in turn, corresponded to a sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 84.2%, 59.0%, and 67.2%, respectively. The combined cut-off value of TCL and ADC yielded an AUC of 0.82. The specificity (84.6%) and accuracy (81.0%) of the combined value were superior to their individual values (P < 0.05).

    Conclusion: A combination of TCL and ADC values provided high specificity and accuracy for detecting EPE of prostatic cancer with CA.

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  • Iichiro Osawa, Eito Kozawa, Yuya Yamamoto, Sayuri Tanaka, Taira Shirat ...
    Article ID: mp.2021-0021
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: May 13, 2021

    Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate contrast enhancement of the infundibular recess in the normal state using heavily T2-weighted 3D fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) (HT2-FLAIR).

    Methods: Twenty-six patients were retrospectively recruited. We subjectively assessed overall contrast enhancement of the infundibular recess between postcontrast, 4-hour (4-h) delayed postcontrast, and precontrast HT2-FLAIR images. We also objectively conducted chronological and spatial comparisons by measuring the signal intensity (SI) ratio (SIR). Chronological comparisons were performed by comparing SI of the infundibular recess/SI of the midbrain (SIRIR-MB). Spatial comparisons were conducted by comparing SI on postcontrast HT2-FLAIR/SI on precontrast HT2-FLAIR (SIRPost-Pre) of the infundibular recess with that of other cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) spaces, including the superior part of the third ventricle, lateral ventricles, fourth ventricle, and interpeduncular cistern.

    Results: In the subjective analysis, all cases showed contrast enhancement of the infundibular recess on both postcontrast and 4-h delayed postcontrast HT2-FLAIR, and showed weaker contrast enhancement of the infundibular recess on 4-h delayed postcontrast HT2-FLAIR than on postcontrast HT2-FLAIR. In the objective analysis, SIRIR-MB was the highest on postcontrast images, followed by 4-h delayed postcontrast images. SIRPost-Pre was significantly higher in the infundibular recess than in the other CSF spaces.

    Conclusion: The present results demonstrated that the infundibular recess was enhanced on HT2-FLAIR after an intravenous gadolinium injection. The infundibular recess may be a potential source of the leakage of intravenously administered gadolinium into the CSF.

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  • Yumi Tanaka, Yoshiharu Ohno, Satomu Hanamatsu, Yuki Obama, Takahiro Ue ...
    Article ID: rev.2020-0184
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: April 29, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Since thoracic MR imaging was first used in a clinical setting, it has been suggested that MR imaging has limited clinical utility for thoracic diseases, especially lung diseases, in comparison with x-ray CT and positron emission tomography (PET)/CT. However, in many countries and states and for specific indications, MR imaging has recently become practicable. In addition, recently developed pulmonary MR imaging with ultra-short TE (UTE) and zero TE (ZTE) has enhanced the utility of MR imaging for thoracic diseases in routine clinical practice. Furthermore, MR imaging has been introduced as being capable of assessing pulmonary function. It should be borne in mind, however, that these applications have so far been academically and clinically used only for healthy volunteers, but not for patients with various pulmonary diseases in Japan or other countries. In 2020, the Fleischner Society published a new report, which provides consensus expert opinions regarding appropriate clinical indications of pulmonary MR imaging for not only oncologic but also pulmonary diseases. This review article presents a brief history of MR imaging for thoracic diseases regarding its technical aspects and major clinical indications in Japan 1) in terms of what is currently available, 2) promising but requiring further validation or evaluation, and 3) developments warranting research investigations in preclinical or patient studies. State-of-the-art MR imaging can non-invasively visualize lung structural and functional abnormalities without ionizing radiation and thus provide an alternative to CT. MR imaging is considered as a tool for providing unique information. Moreover, prospective, randomized, and multi-center trials should be conducted to directly compare MR imaging with conventional methods to determine whether the former has equal or superior clinical relevance. The results of these trials together with continued improvements are expected to update or modify recommendations for the use of MRI in near future.

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  • Shinji Naganawa, Rintaro Ito, Hisashi Kawai, Mariko Kawamura, Toshiaki ...
    Article ID: ici.2021-0022
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: April 24, 2021

    In this study, we present images acquired by a fast-imaging method for the evaluation of endolymphatic hydrops after intravenous administration of a single dose of gadolinium-based contrast agent. We utilized the hybrid of reversed image of MR cisternography and a positive perilymph signal by heavily T2- weighted 3D-fluid attenuated inversion recovery-multiplied by T2 (HYDROPS2-Mi2) method combined with deep learning reconstruction denoising. The scan time for the fast protocol was approximately 5 mins, which is far shorter than previously reported scan times. The fast acquisition provides similar image quality and less motion artifacts compared to the longer method.

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  • Shinji Naganawa, Rintaro Ito, Hisashi Kawai, Mariko Kawamura, Toshiaki ...
    Article ID: mp.2021-0010
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: April 24, 2021

    Purpose: To evaluate the relationship between the size of the venous structures related to the inner ear and the degree of endolymphatic hydrops (EH).

    Methods: Thirty-four patients with a suspicion of EH underwent whole brain MR imaging including the inner ear. Images were obtained pre- and post-administration, and at 4 and 24 hours after the intravenous administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (IV-GBCA). The cross-sectional areas (CSA) of the internal jugular vein (IJV), superior petrosal sinus (SPS), and inferior petrosal sinus (IPS) were measured on the magnetization prepared rapid acquisition of gradient echo (MPRAGE) images obtained immediately after the IV-GBCA. The grade of EH was determined on the hybrid of reversed image of positive endolymph signal and native image of positive perilymph signal (HYDROPS) images obtained at 4 hours after IV-GBCA as no, mild, and significant EH according to the previously proposed grading system for the cochlea and vestibule, respectively. The ipsilateral CSA was compared between groups with each level of EH grade. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

    Results: There were no statistically significant differences between EH grades for the CSA of the IJV or that of the IPS in either the cochlea or the vestibule. The CSA of the SPS in the groups with significant EH was significantly smaller than that in the group with no EH, for both the cochlea (P < 0.01) and the vestibule (P < 0.05). In an ROC analysis to predict significant EH, the cut-off CSA value in the SPS was 3.905 mm2 for the cochlea (AUC: 0.8762, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.7952‒0.9572) and 3.805 mm2 for the vestibule (AUC: 0.7727, 95% CI: 0.6539‒0.8916).

    Conclusion: In the ears with significant EH in the cochlea or vestibule, the CSA of the ipsilateral SPS was smaller than in the ears without EH.

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  • Yukihisa Takayama, Akihiro Nishie, Daisuke Okamoto, Nobuhiro Fujita, Y ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0151
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: April 20, 2021

    Purpose: To evaluate the utility of T2-enhanced spin-echo imaging using the time-reversed gradient echo sequence (T2FFE imaging) in the hepatobiliary phase (HBP) of gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI (Gd-EOB-MRI) for differentiating hemangiomas from metastatic tumors.

    Methods: A total of 61 patients with 133 liver lesions, including 37 hemangiomas and 96 metastatic tumors, were scanned by Gd-EOB-MRI. Four data sets were independently analyzed by two readers: (1) 3D fat-suppressed T2-weighted imaging (FS-T2WI) alone; (2) the combination of 3D FS-T2WI and T2FFE imaging in the HBP of Gd-EOB-MRI; (3) the combination of 3D FS-T2WI, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) with the b-value of 1000 s/mm2 and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC); and (4) a dynamic study of Gd-EOB-MRI. After classifying the lesion sizes as ≤ 10 mm or > 10 mm, we conducted a receiver-operating characteristic analysis to compare diagnostic accuracies among the four data sets for differentiating hemangiomas from metastatic tumors.

    Results: The areas under the curves (AUCs) of the four data sets of two readers were: (1) ≤ 10 mm (0.85 and 0.91) and > 10 mm (0.88 and 0.97), (2) ≤ 10 mm (0.94 and 0.94) and > 10 mm (0.96 and 0.95), (3) ≤ 10 mm (0.90 and 0.87) and > 10 mm (0.89 and 0.95), and (4) ≤ 10 mm (0.62 and 0.67) and > 10 mm (0.76 and 0.71), respectively. Data sets (2) and (3) showed no significant differences in AUCs, but both showed significantly higher AUCs compared to that of (4) regardless of the lesion size (P < 0.05).

    Conclusion: The combination of 3D FS-T2WI and T2FFE imaging in the HBP of Gd-EOB-MRI achieved an accuracy equivalent to that of the combination of 3D FS-T2WI, DWI, and ADC and might be helpful in differentiating hemangiomas from metastatic tumors.

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  • Hiroyuki Kabasawa
    Article ID: rev.2021-0011
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: April 16, 2021

    Clinical MRI systems have continually improved over the years since their introduction in the 1980s. In MRI technical development, the developments in each MRI system component, including data acquisition, image reconstruction, and hardware systems, have impacted the others. Progress in each component has induced new technology development opportunities in other components. New technologies outside of the MRI field, for example, computer science, data processing, and semiconductors, have been immediately incorporated into MRI development, which resulted in innovative applications. With high performance computing and MR technology innovations, MRI can now provide large volumes of functional and anatomical image datasets, which are important tools in various research fields. MRI systems are now combined with other modalities, such as positron emission tomography (PET) or therapeutic devices. These hybrid systems provide additional capabilities.

    In this review, MRI advances in the last two decades will be considered. We will discuss the progress of MRI systems, the enabling technology, established applications, current trends, and the future outlook.

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  • Masatoki Nakaza, Mitsuo Matsumoto, Tetsuro Sekine, Tatsuya Inoue, Taka ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0170
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 31, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to clarify the blood flow pattern in the left atrium (LA), potentially causing the formation of thrombosis after left upper lobectomy (LUL). The blood flow in the LA was evaluated and compared between LUL patients with and without thrombosis. For the evaluation, we applied highly accelerated 4D flow MRI with dual-velocity encoding (VENC) scheme, which was expected to be able to capture slow flow components in the LA accurately.

    Methods: Eight volunteers and 18 patients subjected to LUL underwent dual-VENC 4D Flow MRI. Eight patients had a history of thrombosis. We measured the blood flow velocity and stasis ratio (proportion in the volume that did not exceed 10 cm/s in any cardiac phase) in the LA and left superior pulmonary vein (LSPV) stump. For visual assessment, the presence of each collision of the blood flow from pulmonary veins and vortex flow in the LA were evaluated. Each acquired value was compared between healthy participants and LUL patients, and in LUL patients with and without thrombosis.

    Results: In LUL patients, blood flow velocity near the inflow part of the left superior pulmonary vein (Lt Upp) and mean velocity in the LA were lower, and stasis ratio in the LA was higher compared with healthy volunteers (Lt Upp 9.10 ± 3.09 vs.13.23 ± 14.19 cm/s, mean velocity in the LA 9.81 ± 2.49 vs. 11.40 ± 1.15 cm/s, and stasis ratio 25.28 ± 18.64 vs. 4.71 ± 3.03%, P = 0.008, 0.037, and < 0.001). There was no significant difference in any quantification values between LUL patients with and without thrombosis. For visual assessment, the thrombus formation was associated with no collision pattern (62.5% vs. 10%, P = 0.019) and not with vortex flow pattern (50% vs. 30%, P = 0.751).

    Conclusion: The net blood flow velocity was not associated with the thrombus formation. In contrast, a specific blood flow pattern, the absence of blood flow collision from pulmonary veins, correlates to the thrombus formation in the LA.

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  • Akira Kunimatsu, Koichiro Yasaka, Hiroyuki Akai, Haruto Sugawara, Nats ...
    Article ID: rev.2020-0159
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 10, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Texture analysis, as well as its broader category radiomics, describes a variety of techniques for image analysis that quantify the variation in surface intensity or patterns, including some that are imperceptible to the human visual system. Cerebral gliomas have been most rigorously studied in brain tumors using MR-based texture analysis (MRTA) to determine the correlation of various clinical measures with MRTA features. Promising results in cerebral gliomas have been shown in the previous MRTA studies in terms of the correlation with the World Health Organization grades, risk stratification in gliomas, and the differentiation of gliomas from other brain tumors. Multiple MRTA studies in gliomas have repeatedly shown high performance of entropy, a measure of the randomness in image intensity values, of either histogram- or gray-level co-occurrence matrix parameters. Similarly, researchers have applied MRTA to other brain tumors, including meningiomas and pediatric posterior fossa tumors.

    However, the value of MRTA in the clinical use remains undetermined, probably because previous studies have shown only limited reproducibility of the result in the real world. The low-to-modest generalizability may be attributed to variations in MRTA methods, sampling bias that originates from single-institution studies, and overfitting problems to a limited number of samples.

    To enhance the reliability and reproducibility of MRTA studies, researchers have realized the importance of standardizing methods in the field of radiomics. Another advancement is the recent development of a comprehensive assessment system to ensure the quality of a radiomics study. These two-way approaches will secure the validity of upcoming MRTA studies. The clinical use of texture analysis in brain MRI will be accelerated by these continuous efforts.

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  • Sabriye Sennur Bilgin, Mehmet Ali Gultekin, Ismail Yurtsever, Temel Fa ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0183
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: March 04, 2021

    Purpose: Histopathological differentiation of primary lung cancer is clinically important. We aimed to investigate whether diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters of metastatic brain lesions could predict the histopathological types of the primary lung cancer.

    Methods: In total, 53 patients with 98 solid metastatic brain lesions of lung cancer were included. Lung tumors were subgrouped as non-small cell carcinoma (NSCLC) (n = 34) and small cell carcinoma (SCLC) (n = 19). Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and Fractional anisotropy (FA) values were calculated from solid enhanced part of the brain metastases. The association between FA and ADC values and histopathological subtype of the primary tumor was investigated.

    Results: The mean ADC and FA values obtained from the solid part of the brain metastases of SCLC were significantly lower than the NSCLC metastases (P < 0.001 and P = 0.003, respectively). ROC curve analysis showed diagnostic performance for mean ADC values (AUC=0.889, P = < 0.001) and FA values (AUC = 0.677, P = 0.002). Cut-off value of > 0.909 × 10-3 mm2/s for mean ADC (Sensitivity = 80.3, Specificity = 83.8, PPV = 89.1, NPV = 72.1) and > 0.139 for FA values (Sensitivity = 80.3, Specificity = 54.1, PPV = 74.2, NPV= 62.5) revealed in differentiating NSCLC from NSCLC.

    Conclusion: DTI parameters of brain metastasis can discriminate SCLC and NSCLC. ADC and FA values of metastatic brain lesions due to the lung cancer may be an important tool to differentiate histopathological subgroups. DTI may guide clinicians for the management of intracranial metastatic lesions of lung cancer.

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  • Jun Sun, Yuanyuan Sha, Weiwei Geng, Jie Chen, Wei Xing
    Article ID: mp.2020-0154
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 27, 2021

    Purpose: To explore the feasibility of susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) for evaluating renal iron overload.

    Methods: Twenty-eight rabbits were randomly assigned into control (n = 14) and iron (n = 14) group. In the 0th week, the study group was injected with iron dextran. Both groups underwent SWI examination at the 0th, 8th, and 12th week. The signal intensity (SI) of cortex and medulla was assessed. Angle radian value (ARV) calculated with phase image was taken as the quantitative value for cortical and medullary iron deposition. After the 12th week, the left kidneys of rabbits were removed for pathology. The difference in the ARV among three groups was analyzed using Kruskal–Wallis test. The difference of the iron content between two groups was analyzed through independent sample t-test.

    Results: In the iron group: at the 12th week, eight rabbits were found to have decreased SI of only cortex, and the other six rabbits had decreased SI of cortex and medulla by the same degree; the ARV of cortex at the 8th and 12th week was significantly higher than that of the 0th week (P < 0.05); the ARV of the six rabbits’ medulla at the 12th week was significantly higher than that of the 0th week, 8th week, and the other eight rabbits at the 12th week (P < 0.05); at the 12th week, eight rabbits (iron group) were found to have many irons only deposit in the cortex, and the others were found to have many irons deposit in both cortex and medulla; the iron content of cortex and six rabbits’ medulla in the iron group was significantly higher than that of the control (P < 0.05).

    Conclusion: The ARV of SWI can be used to quantitatively assess the excess iron deposition in the kidneys. Excessive iron deposition mainly occurs in the cortex or medulla and causes their SWI SI to decrease.

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  • Taro Sugai, Kohei Takano, Shohei Ouchi, Satoshi Ito
    Article ID: mp.2020-0073
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 11, 2021

    Purpose: To improve the performance of a denoising convolutional neural network (DnCNN) and to make it applicable to images with inhomogeneous noise, a refinement involving an activation function (AF) and an application of the refined method for inhomogeneous-noise images was examined in combination with parallelized image denoising.

    Methods: Improvements in the DnCNN were performed by three approaches. One is refinement of the AF of each neural network that constructs the DnCNN. Swish was used in the DnCNN instead of rectifier linear unit. Second, blind noise removal was introduced to the DnCNN in order to adapt spatially variant noises. Third, blind noise removal was applied to parallelized image denoising, referred to herein as ParBID. The ParBID procedure is as follows: (1) adjacent 2D slice images are linearly combined to obtained higher peak SNR (PSNR) images, (2) combined images with different weight coefficients are denoised using the blind DnCNN, and (3) denoised combined images are separated into original position images by algebraic calculation.

    Results: Experimental studies showed that the PSNR and the structural similarity index (SSIM) were improved by using Swish for all noise levels, from 2.5% to 7.5%, as compared to the conventional DnCNN. It was also shown that a well-trained CNN could remove spatially variant noises superimposed on images. Experimental studies with ParBID showed that the greatest PSNR and SSIM improvements were obtained at the middle slice when three slice images were used for linear image combination. More fine structures of images and image contrast remained when the proposed ParBID procedure was used.

    Conclusion: Swish can improve the denoising performance of the DnCNN, and the denoising performance and effectiveness were further improved by ParBID.

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  • Masako Ohno, Naoki Ohno, Tosiaki Miyati, Hiroko Kawashima, Kazuto Koza ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0103
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 09, 2021

    Purpose: To obtain detailed information in breast ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) using triexponential diffusion analysis.

    Methods: Diffusion-weighted images (DWI) of the breast were obtained using single-shot diffusion echo-planar imaging with 15 b-values. Mean signal intensities at each b-value were measured in the DCIS and IDC lesions and fitted with the triexponential function based on a two-step approach: slow-restricted diffusion coefficient (Ds) was initially determined using a monoexponential function with b-values > 800 s/mm2. The diffusion coefficient of free water at 37°C was assigned to the fast-free diffusion coefficient (Df). Finally, the perfusion-related diffusion coefficient (Dp) was derived using all the b-values. Furthermore, biexponential analysis was performed to obtain the perfusion-related diffusion coefficient (D*) and the perfusion-independent diffusion coefficient (D). Monoexponential analysis was performed to obtain the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). The sensitivity and specificity of the aforementioned diffusion coefficients for distinguishing between DCIS and IDC were evaluated using the pathological results.

    Results: The Ds, D, and ADC of DCIS were significantly higher than those of IDC (P < 0.01 for all). There was no significant correlation between Dp and Ds, but there was a weak correlation between D* and D. The combination of Dp and Ds showed higher sensitivity and specificity (85.9% and 71.4%, respectively), compared to the combination of D* and D (81.5% and 33.3%, respectively).

    Conclusion: Triexponential analysis can provide detailed diffusion information for breast tumors that can be used to differentiate between DCIS and IDC.

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  • Tetsuya Tsujikawa, Akira Makino, Hiroshi Oikawa, Shota Ishida, Tetsuya ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0129
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 09, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Purpose: To compare apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) of bone marrow on diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) between two fat-suppression techniques, and to evaluate the association between bone-marrow ADCs and the proton density fat fraction (PDFF).

    Methods: Seventy-seven patients underwent whole-body DWI with short-inversion time inversion-recovery (STIR) (DWISTIR) and/or STIR + selective water-excitation (spectral-spatial RF [SSRF]) (DWISTIR+SSRF). ADCs of lumbar vertebrae (L3 and L4) were compared between DWISTIR and DWISTIR+SSRF, and correlated with the PDFF.

    Results: Lumbar ADCs obtained by DWISTIR and DWISTIR+SSRF were significantly correlated (L3: r = 0.90, P < 0.0001, L4: r = 0.90, P < 0.0001). Lumbar ADCs (× 10-6 mm2/s) obtained by DWISTIR were significantly lower than those by DWISTIR+SSRF (L3: 479 ± 137 and 490 ± 148, P < 0.05, L4: 456 ± 114 and 471 ± 118, P < 0.005). Residual fat signals were more clearly observed on DWISTIR than on DWISTIR+SSRF. The ADCs of L3 obtained by DWISTIR and DWISTIR+SSRF exhibited significant positive correlations with the PDFF (r = 0.51, P < 0.0001, and r = 0.45, P < 0.0001, respectively), and the ADCs of L4 obtained by DWISTIR and DWISTIR+SSRF exhibited significantly positive correlations with the PDFF (r = 0.40, P < 0.0005, and r = 0.40, P < 0.0005, respectively).

    Conclusion: Irrespective of different fat-suppression methods, lumbar ADCs were positively correlated with the PDFF, being inconsistent with previous studies. Lumbar ADCs obtained by DWISTIR were significantly lower than those obtained by DWISTIR+SSRF, probably due to residual fat signals on DWISTIR. However, this difference (< 4%) did not explain the positive correlation between lumbar ADC and PDFF.

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  • Yumi Shiina, Kei Inai, Michinobu Nagao
    Article ID: mp.2020-0101
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 06, 2021

    Purpose: Dilated aortic root and ascending aorta (AAO) with progressive aortic regurgitation is a well-known sequela after arterial switch operation (ASO) in adults with transposition of the great arteries (TGA). We aimed to quantitatively assess aortic flow profiles in adults with TGA after ASO (Jatene procedure with LeCompte maneuver) using echo planar imaging (EPI) 4D flow MRI.

    Methods: Prospectively, 9 consecutive adults (30.2 ± 6.6 years) after ASO (Jatene operation with LeCompte technique), 13 consecutive adults (34.3 ± 7.2 years) after the atrial switch operation with Senning procedure, and 8 age-matched control patients, who underwent turbo field echo (TFE) EPI 4D flow MRI (average scan time of approximately 4 min), were enrolled.

    Results: TGA after ASO showed a markedly dilated sinus of Valsalva, compared to TGA after atrial switch operation (26.6. ± 4.9 vs. 18.6. ± 1.5 mm/cm2). Vorticity, helicity, wall share stress (WSS), and energy loss (EL) in the aortic root and the AAO in TGA were greater than in the controls. Vorticity, helicity, WSS, and EL in the aortic root and the AAO were also greater in TGA after ASO than after atrial switch operation. More acute aortic arch angle correlated with greater vorticity of the aortic root, and the significant diameter ratio of the sinus of Valsalva and the AAO was relevant to greater vorticity, helicity, and EL in TGA after ASO.

    Conclusions: A non-physiological blood flow pattern of the aortic root was identified in TGA adults after the ASO (Jatene procedure with LeCompte maneuver). Missing spiral looping of the great arteries and the unique structure after the Jatene procedure may play an adjunctive role in promoting aortopathy. The evaluation of aortic flow profile using EPI 4D flow MRI may be useful for risk stratification for aortopathy in this population.

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  • Satoshi Yatsushiro, Saeko Sunohara, Tetsuya Tokushima, Ken Takizawa, M ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0085
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 05, 2021
    Supplementary material

    Purpose: The cardiac- and respiratory-driven components of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) motion characteristics and bulk flow are not yet completely understood. Therefore, the present study aimed to characterize cardiac- and respiratory-driven CSF motions in the intracranial space using delay time, CSF velocity waveform correlation, and displacement.

    Methods: Asynchronous two-dimensional phase-contrast at 3T was applied to measure the CSF velocity in the inferior–superior direction in a sagittal slice at the midline (N = 12) and an axial slice at the foramen magnum (N = 8). Volunteers were instructed to engage in six-second respiratory cycles. The calculated delay time and correlation coefficients of the cardiac- and respiratory-driven velocity waveforms, separated in the frequency domain, were applied to evaluate the propagation of the CSF motion. The cardiac- and respiratory-driven components of the CSF displacement and motion volume were calculated during diastole and systole, and during inhalation and exhalation, respectively. The cardiac- and respiratory-driven components of the velocity, correlation, displacement, and motion volume were compared using an independent two-sample t-test.

    Results: The ratio of the cardiac-driven CSF velocity to the sum of the cardiac- and respiratory-driven CSF velocities was higher than the equivalent respiratory-driven ratio for all cases (P < 0.01). Delay time and correlation maps demonstrated that the cardiac-driven CSF motion propagated more extensively than the respiratory-driven CSF motion. The correlation coefficient of the cardiac-driven motion was significantly higher in the prepontine (P < 0.01), the aqueduct, and the fourth ventricle (P < 0.05). The respiratory-driven displacement and motion volume were significantly greater than the cardiac-driven equivalents for all observations (P < 0.01).

    Conclusion: The correlation mapping technique characterized the cardiac- and respiratory-driven CSF velocities and their propagation properties in the intracranial space. Based on these findings, cardiac-driven CSF velocity is greater than respiratory-induced velocity, but the respiratory-driven velocity might displace farther.

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  • Tomokazu Murase, Masahiro Umeda, Toshihiro Higuchi
    Article ID: mp.2020-0164
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 05, 2021

    Purpose: We investigated the temporal dynamics of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal responses during various stimuli, including real acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and palm scrubbing. For this purpose, deconvolution analysis was used to perform measurements using multi-band (MB) echo-planar imaging (EPI), which can improve time resolution, and to analyze brain responses without an expected reference function.

    Methods: We devided 26 healthy right-handed adults into a group of 13 who received real acupuncture stimulation with manual manipulation and the other group of 13 who received sham acupuncture and palm scrubbing tactical stimulations. Data analysis was performed with a combination of analysis packages.

    Results: We found stimulus-specific impulse responses of the BOLD signal in various brain regions. During real acupuncture, activated areas were observed in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) and insula during stimulation and in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), supplementary motor area (SMA), and thalamus after the stimulation. During sham acupuncture, activated areas were observed in the SII, insula, and thalamus during simulation. During the scrubbing condition, activated areas were observed in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI), SII, insula, and thalamus during stimulation. In particular, during the real acupuncture condition, significantly delayed and long-sustained increased signals were observed in several brain regions, in contrast to the signals induced with sham acupuncture and palm scrubbing.

    Coclusion: We speculated that the delayed and long-sustained signal increases were caused by peripheral nociceptors, flare responses, and time-consuming processing in the central nervous system. We used deconvolution analysis with MB EPI and tent functions to identify the delayed increase in the BOLD signal in the area related to pain perception specifically observed in real acupuncture stimulation. We propose that the specific BOLD signal change observed in this study will lead to the elucidation of the mechanism underlying the therapeutic effect of acupuncture stimulation.

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  • Tomoyuki Fujioka, Mio Mori, Jun Oyama, Kazunori Kubota, Emi Yamaga, Yu ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0132
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: February 02, 2021

    Purpose: Synthetic MRI reconstructs multiple sequences in a single acquisition. In the present study, we aimed to compare the image quality and utility of synthetic MRI with that of conventional MRI in the breast.

    Methods: We retrospectively collected the imaging data of 37 women (mean age: 55.1 years; range: 20–78 years) who had undergone both synthetic and conventional MRI of T2-weighted, T1-weighted, and fat-suppressed (FS)-T2-weighted images. Two independent breast radiologists evaluated the overall image quality, anatomical sharpness, contrast between tissues, image homogeneity, and presence of artifacts of synthetic and conventional MRI on a 5-point scale (5 = very good to 1 = very poor). The interobserver agreement between the radiologists was evaluated using weighted kappa.

    Results: For synthetic MRI, the acquisition time was 3 min 28 s. On the 5-point scale evaluation of overall image quality, although the scores of synthetic FS-T2-weighted images (4.01 ± 0.56) were lower than that of conventional images (4.95 ± 0.23; P < 0.001), the scores of synthetic T1- and T2-weighted images (4.95 ± 0.23 and 4.97 ± 0.16) were comparable with those of conventional images (4.92 ± 0.27 and 4.97 ± 0.16; P = 0.484 and 1.000, respectively). The kappa coefficient of conventional MRI was fair (0.53; P < 0.001), and that of conventional MRI was fair (0.46; P < 0.001).

    Conclusion: The image quality of synthetic T1- and T2-weighted images was similar to that of conventional images and diagnostically acceptable, whereas the quality of synthetic T2-weighted FS images was inferior to conventional images. Although synthetic MRI images of the breast have the potential to provide efficient image diagnosis, further validation and improvement are required for clinical application.

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  • Minako Azuma, Zaw Aung Khant, Yoshihito Kadota, Go Takeishi, Takashi W ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0127
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: January 25, 2021

    Purpose: Half of the surgically proven Rathke’s cleft cysts (RCCs) can be preoperatively misdiagnosed as cystic pituitary adenoma (CPA). We aimed to evaluate the usefulness of contrast-enhanced (CE) 3D T2 fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (3D T2-FLAIR) imaging for differentiating between CPA and RCC.

    Methods: This retrospective study included six patients with RCC (all pathologically confirmed) and six patients with CPA (five pathologically confirmed, one clinically diagnosed). The 12 patients underwent pre- and post-contrast T1-weighted (T1W)- and 3D T2-FLAIR imaging at 3T. Based on the degree of enhancement of the lesion wall, two radiologists independently scored the images using a 3-point grading system. Interobserver agreement was calculated by using the κ coefficient. The statistical significance of grading differences was analyzed with the Mann–Whitney U-test. Another neuroradiologist first interpreted conventional MR images (1st session), and then the reader read images to which the 3D T2-FLAIR images had been added (2nd session). Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the reader’s interpretation were calculated.

    Results: Interobserver agreement for post-contrast T1W- and 3D T2-FLAIR images was excellent (κ = 1.000 and 0.885, respectively). Although the mean enhancement grade on post-contrast T1W images of RCCs and CPAs was not significantly different, on post-contrast 3D T2-FLAIR images it was significantly higher for RCCs and CPAs (P < 0.05). Three CPAs (50%) showed remarkable, donut-like enhancement along the inner margin of the cyst on CE-3D T2-FLAIR images; this was not the case on CE-T1W images. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the 2nd session were 1.00, 0.83, and 0.92, respectively, which were improved compared to the 1st session (1.00, 0.50, and 0.75, respectively).

    Conclusion: CE-3D FLAIR imaging is useful for discriminating CPAs and RCCs.

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  • Shinji Naganawa, Rintaro Ito, Rei Nakamichi, Mariko Kawamura, Toshiaki ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0138
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: January 13, 2021

    Purpose: To investigate the association between signal changes over time in perivenous cystic structures near the superior sagittal sinus and leakage of a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) into the subarachnoid space in patients with suspected endolymphatic hydrops.

    Methods: Fifty-one cystic structures in 27 cases were evaluated. The signal intensity of the cystic structures was measured on 3D real inversion recovery (3D-real IR) images obtained at pre-, and at 10 min, 4 hrs and 24 hrs post-intravenous administration (IV) of GBCA. Signal enhancement of the cystic structures from the pre-contrast images at each time point was compared in subjects with leakage (positive) versus those without leakage (negative) using an ANOVA. Fisher’s exact probability test was used to compare the maximum contrast-enhanced time point between positive and negative groups. We used 5% as a threshold to determine statistical significance.

    Results: In leakage positive subjects, mean signal enhancement of the cysts was significantly greater at 4 and 24 hrs compared to 10 min. However, although there was a trend of an increase from 4 to 24 hrs, the difference was not significant. In the leakage negative group, mean signal enhancement of the cysts was significantly higher at 4 hrs compared to 10 min and 24 hrs. There was no significant difference between 10 min and 24 hrs. In the positive group, the maximum signal increase was found in 10/38 and 28/38 cysts at 4 and 24 hrs after IV-GBCA, respectively. In the leakage negative group, the maximum signal increase was found in 10/13 and 3/13 cysts at 4 and 24 hrs, respectively (P = 0.0019).

    Conclusion: There was an association between signal changes over time after IV-GBCA in perivenous cystic structures and leakage of GBCA. Further research to clarify the impact of cystic structures on the function of the waste clearance system of the brain is warranted.

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  • Toshiaki Taoka, Hisashi Kawai, Toshiki Nakane, Takashi Abe, Rei Nakami ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0121
    Published: 2021
    [Advance publication] Released: January 07, 2021

    Purpose: Decrease in signal of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on low b-value diffusion weighted image (DWI) due to non-uniform flow can provide additional information regarding CSF motion. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether arterial pulsations constitute the driving force of CSF motion.

    Methods: We evaluated the CSF signals within the Sylvian fissure on low b-value DWI in 19 patients with unilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. DWI with b-value of 500 s/mm2 was evaluated for a decrease in CSF signal within the Sylvian fissure including the Sylvian vallecula and lower, middle, and higher Sylvian fissures and graded as follows: the same as contralateral side; smaller signal decrease than that on contralateral side; and no signal decrease. MR angiography (MRA) findings of MCA were graded as follows: the same as contralateral, lower signal than contralateral signal, and no signal. In 15 patients, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was evaluated using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies and graded as >90%, 90%–70%, and <70% rCBF compared to contralateral. The correlations between the gradings were evaluated using G likelihood-ratio test.

    Results: There was no statistically significant correlation between the MRA and low b-value DWI gradings of CSF in all areas. There were statistically significant correlations between the decreases in CBF on SPECT and CSF signals in the middle Sylvian fissure.

    Conclusion: The driving force of CSF pulsation in the Sylvian sinus may be related to the pulsations of the cerebral hemisphere rather than direct arterial pulsations.

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  • Mamoru Takahashi, Yasuo Takehara, Kenji Fujisaki, Tomoyuki Okuaki, Yuk ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0009
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: December 28, 2020

    Purpose: Non-calcified cholesterol stones that are small in size are hard to be depicted on CT or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography. This institutional review board (IRB)-approved retrospective in vitro study aims to characterize contrast behaviors of 3 main components of the gallstones, i.e., cholesterol component (CC), bilirubin calcium component (BC) and CaCO3 (CO) on 3D radial scan with ultrashort TE (UTE) MRI, and to test the capability of depicting CC of gallstones as bright signals as compared to background saline.

    Methods: Fourteen representative gallstones from 14 patients, including 15 CC, 6 BC and 4 CO, were enrolled. The gallstones underwent MRI including fat-saturated T1-weighted image (fs-T1WI) and UTE MRI with dual echoes. The contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and the chemical analysis for the 25 portions of the stones were compared.

    Results: BC was bright on fs-T1WI, which did not change dramatically on UTE MRI and the signal did not remain on UTE subtraction image between dual echoes. Whereas the CC was negative or faintly positive signal on fs-T1WI, bright signal on UTE MRI and the contrast remained even higher on the UTE subtraction, which reflected their short T2 values. Median CNRs and standard errors of the segments on each imaging were as follows: on fs-T1WI, −10.2 ± 4.2 for CC, 149.7 ± 27.6 for BC and 37.9 ± 14.3 for CO; on UTE MRI first echo, 16.7 ± 3.3 for CC, 74.9 ± 21.3 for BC and 17.7 ± 8.4 for CO; on UTE subtraction image, 30.2 ±2.0 for CC, −11.2 ± 5.4 for BC and 17.8 ± 10.7 for CO. Linear correlations between CNRs and cholesterol concentrations were observed on fs-T1WI with r = −0.885, (P < 0.0001), UTE MRI first echo r = −0.524 (P = 0.0072) and UTE subtraction with r = 0.598 (P = 0.0016).

    Conclusion: UTE MRI and UTE subtraction can depict CC bright.

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  • Daisuke Nakashima, Junichi Hata, Yoshifumi Sone, Katsuya Maruyama, Tho ...
    Article ID: tn.2020-0096
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: December 18, 2020
    Supplementary material

    The feasibility of detecting mild exercise-related muscle fatigue via stimulated echo (STE) and q-space imaging (qsi) was evaluated. The right calves of seven healthy volunteers were subjected to mild exercise loading, and qsi was generated using spin echo (Δ: 45.6 ms) and three different STE (Δ: 114, 214, and 414 ms) acquisitions. We concluded that qsi with an increased STE diffusion time can detect mild fatigue in the gastrocnemius muscle.

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  • Takayuki Obata
    Article ID: e.2020-1000
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: November 27, 2020
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  • Shinji Naganawa, Toshiaki Taoka
    Article ID: rev.2020-0122
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: November 27, 2020

    The central nervous system (CNS) was previously thought to be the only organ system lacking lymphatic vessels to remove waste products from the interstitial space. Recently, based on the results from animal experiments, the glymphatic system was hypothesized. In this hypothesis, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters the periarterial spaces, enters the interstitial space of the brain parenchyma via aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels in the astrocyte end feet, and then exits through the perivenous space, thereby clearing waste products. From the perivenous space, the interstitial fluid drains into the subarachnoid space and meningeal lymphatics of the parasagittal dura. It has been reported that the glymphatic system is particularly active during sleep. Impairment of glymphatic system function might be a cause of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, glaucoma, and others. Meningeal lymphatics regulate immunity in the CNS. Many researchers have attempted to visualize the function and structure of the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics in vivo using MR imaging. In this review, we aim to summarize these in vivo MR imaging studies and discuss the significance, current limitations, and future directions. We also discuss the significance of the perivenous cyst formation along the superior sagittal sinus, which is recently discovered in the downstream of the glymphatic system.

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  • Minako Azuma, Kanako K. Kumamaru, Toshinori Hirai, Zaw Aung Khant, Rit ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0084
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: November 26, 2020

    Purpose: To investigate safety management at Japanese facilities performing human MRI studies.

    Materials and Methods: All Japanese facilities performing human MRI studies were invited to participate in a comprehensive survey that evaluated their MRI safety management. The survey used a questionnaire prepared with the cooperation of the Safety Committee of the Japanese Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. The survey addressed items pertaining to the overall MRI safety management, questions on the occurrence of incidents, and questions specific to facility and MRI scanner or examination. The survey covered the period from October 2017 to September 2018. Automated machine learning was used to identify factors associated with major incidents.

    Results: Of 5914 facilities, 2015 (34%) responded to the questionnaire. There was a wide variation in the rate of compliance with MRI safety management items among the participating facilities. Among the facilities responding to this questionnaire, 5% reported major incidents and 27% reported minor incidents related to MRI studies. Most major incidents involved the administration of contrast agents. The most influential factor in major incidents was the total number of MRI studies performed at the facility; this number was significantly correlated with the risk of major incidents (P < 0.0001).

    Conclusion: There were large variations in the safety standards applied at Japanese facilities performing clinical MRI studies. The total number of MRI studies performed at a facility affected the number of major incidents.

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  • Sanae Kato, Epifanio Bagarinao, Haruo Isoda, Shuji Koyama, Hirohisa Wa ...
    Article ID: mp.2020-0081
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: October 27, 2020

    Purpose: The estimation of functional connectivity (FC) measures using resting state functional MRI (fMRI) is often affected by head motion during functional imaging scans. Head motion is more common in the elderly than in young participants and could therefore affect the evaluation of age-related changes in brain networks. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the influence of head motion in FC estimation when evaluating age-related changes in brain networks.

    Methods: This study involved 132 healthy volunteers divided into 3 groups: elderly participants with high motion (OldHM, mean age (±SD) = 69.6 (±5.31), N = 44), elderly participants with low motion (OldLM, mean age (±SD) = 68.7 (±4.59), N = 43), and young adult participants with low motion (YugLM, mean age (±SD) = 27.6 (±5.26), N = 45). Head motion was quantified using the mean of the framewise displacement of resting state fMRI data. After preprocessing all resting state fMRI datasets, several resting state networks (RSNs) were extracted using independent component analysis (ICA). In addition, several network metrics were also calculated using network analysis. These FC measures were then compared among the 3 groups.

    Results: In ICA, the number of voxels with significant differences in RSNs was higher in YugLM vs. OldLM comparison than in YugLM vs. OldHM. In network analysis, all network metrics showed significant (P < 0.05) differences in comparisons involving low vs. high motion groups (OldHM vs. OldLM and OldHM vs. YugLM). However, there was no significant (P > 0.05) difference in the comparison involving the low motion groups (OldLM vs. YugLM).

    Conclusion: Our findings showed that head motion during functional imaging could significantly affect the evaluation of age-related brain network changes using resting state fMRI data.

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  • Tokunori Kimura, Kousuke Yamashita, Kouta Fukatsu
    Article ID: mp.2020-0044
    Published: 2020
    [Advance publication] Released: October 16, 2020

    Purpose: Our purpose was to assess our proposed new synthetic MRI (synMRI) technique, combined with T2-based water suppression (T2wsup), to reduce cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)–partial volume effects (PVEs). These PVEs are problematic in the T2-weighted fluid-attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR) images obtained by conventional synMRI techniques.

    Methods: Our T2wsup was achieved by subtracting additionally acquired long TE spin echo (SE) images of water signals dominant from the originally acquired images after T2 decay correction and a masking on the long TE image using the water volume (Vw) map to preserve tissue SNR, followed by quantitative mapping and then calculation of the synthetic images. A simulation study based on a two-compartment model including tissue and water in a voxel and a volunteer MR study were performed to assess our proposed method. Parameters of long TE and a threshold value in the masking were assessed and optimized experimentally. Quantitative parameter maps of standard and with T2wsup were generated, then wsup-synthetic FLAIR and SE images were calculated using those suitable combinations and compared.

    Results: Our simulation clarified that the CSF–PVE artifacts in the standard synthetic FLAIR increase T2 as the water volume increases in a voxel, and the volunteer MR brain study demonstrated that the hyperintense artifacts on synthetic images were reduced to <10% of Vw in those with the standard synMRI while keeping the tissue SNR by selecting optimal masking parameters on additional long TE images of TE = 300 ms. In addition, the wsup-synthetic SE provided better gray-white matter contrasts compared with the wsup-synthetic FLAIR while keeping CSF suppression.

    Conclusion: Our proposed T2wsup-synMRI technique makes it easy to reduce the CSF–PVE artifacts problematic in the synthetic FLAIR images using the current synMRI technique by adding long TE images and simple processing. Although further optimizations in data acquisition and processing techniques are required before actual clinical use, we expect our technique to become clinically useful.

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