RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT Using MRI to acquire fast, repeatable brain conductivity measurements

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT Using MRI to acquire fast, repeatable brain conductivity measurements

Recent advancements in an imaging technique that measures tissue conductivity and permittivity have positioned it to be a potential candidate for use in many future MRI research studies.

Implementation of MREPT in the clinic requires repeatable measurements at a short scan time and an appropriate protocol. Here, we investigated the repeatability of conductivity measurements using phase-based MREPT and the effects of compressed SENSE (CS), and RF shimming on the precision of conductivity measurements.

A research team led by Professor Caroline Rae at Neuroscience Research Australia conducted a study to compare the repeatability and precision of two imaging sequences, turbo spin echo (TSE) and three-dimensional balanced fast field echo (bFFE) using Compressed SENSE factors up to 12. The aim was to explore the impact of acceleration factors on the imaging sequences.

The study formed part of Jun Cao’s successful PhD thesis and also looked at whether different approaches to optimising RF shimming, as a proxy for mapping, could improve the precision of measurement.

The results showed that the bFFE sequence provided the most accurate and precise measurement compared to ground truth, and remained consistent with minimal deviation up to CS factors of 8. Additionally, the precision of the measurements was further enhanced through the use of RF shimming, employing full slice coverage 2D dual refocusing echo acquisition mode (DREAM) and full coverage 3D dual TR approaches

Recently published, the study showed that fast, repeatable measures of brain conductivity can be measured in MRI. offers the potential of MREPT in clinical applications, providing fast, repeatable tissue electrical properties for disease diagnosis and monitoring.

Full publication details:
Cao, J., Ball, I., Humburg, P. et al. Repeatability of brain phase-based magnetic resonance electric properties tomography methods and effect of compressed SENSE and RF shimming. Phys Eng Sci Med (2023).