Simultaneous T1, T2, and T relaxation mapping of the lower leg muscle with MR fingerprinting

Azadeh Sharafi, Katherine Medina, Marcelo W.V. Zibetti, Smita Rao, Martijn A. Cloos, Ryan Brown, Ravinder R. Regatte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To develop a novel MR-fingerprinting (MRF) pulse sequence that is insensitive to (Formula presented.) and B0 imperfections for simultaneous T1, T2, and T relaxation mapping. Methods: We implemented a totally balanced spin-lock (TB-SL) module to encode T relaxation into an existing MRF framework that encoded T1 and T2. The spin-lock module used two 180° pulses with compensatory phases to reduce T sensitivity to B1 and B0 inhomogeneities. We compared T measured using TB-SL MRF in Bloch simulations, model agar phantoms, and in vivo experiments to those with a self-compensated spin-lock preparation module (SC-SL). The TB-SL MRF repeatability was evaluated in maps acquired in the lower leg skeletal muscle of 12 diabetic peripheral neuropathy patients, scanned two times each during visits separated by about 30 days. Results: The phantom relaxation times measured with TB-SL and SC-SL MRF were in good agreement with reference values in regions with low B1 inhomogeneities. Compared with SC-SL, TB-SL MRF showed in experiments greater robustness against severe B1 inhomogeneities and in Bloch simulations greater robustness against B1 and B0. We measured with TB-SL MRF an average T1 = 950.1 ± 28.7 ms, T2 = 26.0 ± 1.2 ms, and T = 31.7 ± 3.2 ms in skeletal muscle across patients. Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated low bias between TB-SL and SC-SL MRF and between TB-SL MRF maps acquired in two visits. The coefficient of variation was less than 3% for all measurements. Conclusion: The proposed TB-SL MRF sequence is fast and insensitive to (Formula presented.) and B0 imperfections. It can simultaneously map T1, T2, T, and (Formula presented.) in a single scan and can potentially be used to study muscle composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-381
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • T
  • diabetic neuropathy
  • lower leg muscle
  • magnetic resonance fingerprinting
  • multiparametric mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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