Muscle damage, edema, and fat infiltration are hallmarks of a range of neuromuscular diseases. The T 2 of water, T 2,w, in muscle lengthens with both myocellular damage and inflammation and is typically measured using multiple spin-echo or Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill acquisitions. However, microscopic fat infiltration in neuromuscular diseases prevents accurate T 2,w quantitation as the longer T 2 of fat, T 2,f, masks underlying changes in the water component. Fat saturation can be inconsistent across the imaging volume and removes valuable physiological fat information. A new method is presented that combines iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least squares estimation with a Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill-sequence. The sequence results in water and fat separated images at each echo time for use in T 2,w and T 2,f quantification. With knowledge of the T 2,w and T 2,f, a T 2-corrected fat fraction map can also be calculated. Monte-Carlo simulations and measurements in phantoms, volunteers, and a patient with inclusion body myositis are demonstrated. In healthy volunteers, uniform T 2,w and T 2-corrected fat fraction maps are present within all muscle groups. However, muscle-specific patterns of fat infiltration and edema are evident in inclusion body myositis, which demonstrates the power of separating and quantifying the fat and water components.
- T relaxometry
- muscular dystrophy
- water-fat separation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging