Sodium inversion recovery MRI of the knee joint in vivo at 7T

Guillaume Madelin, Jae Seung Lee, Souheil Inati, Alexej Jerschow, Ravinder R. Regatte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The loss of proteoglycans (PG) in the articular cartilage is an early signature of osteoarthritis (OA). The ensuing changes in the fixed charge density in the cartilage can be directly linked to sodium concentration via charge balance. Sodium ions in the knee joint appear in two pools: in the synovial fluids or joint effusion where the ions are in free motion and bound within the cartilage tissue where the Na+ ions have a restricted motion. The ions in these two compartments have therefore different T 1 and T2 relaxation times. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of a fluid-suppressed 3D ultrashort TE radial sodium sequence by implementing an inversion recovery (IR) preparation of the magnetization at 7T. This method could allow a more accurate and more sensitive quantification of loss of PG in patients with OA. It is shown that adiabatic pulses offer significantly improved performance in terms of robustness to B 1 and B0 inhomogeneities when compared to the hard pulse sequence. Power deposition considerations further pose a limit to the RF inversion power, and we demonstrate in simulations and experiments how a practical compromise can be struck between clean suppression of fluid signals and power deposition levels. Two IR sequences with different types of inversion pulses (a rectangular pulse and an adiabatic pulse) were tested on a liquid phantom, ex vivo on a human knee cadaver and then in vivo on five healthy volunteers, with a (Nyquist) resolution of ∼3.6 mm and a signal-to-noise ratio of ∼30 in cartilage without IR and ∼20 with IR. Due to specific absorption rate limitations, the total acquisition time was ∼17 min for the 3D radial sequence without inversion or with the rectangular IR, and 24:30 min for the adiabatic IR sequence. It is shown that the adiabatic IR sequence generates a more uniform fluid suppression over the whole sample than the rectangular IR sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Adiabatic inversion
  • Cartilage
  • Inversion recovery
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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