Native Myocardial T1 Mapping, Are we there Yet?
Hamdy, A.; Kitagawa, K.; Ishida, M.; Sakuma, H.
International Heart Journal 57(4): 400-407
ISSN/ISBN: 1349-3299 PMID: 27396560 DOI: 10.1536/ihj.16-169
T1 or longitudinal relaxation time is one of the very fundamental magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) time constants and a tissue characterizing parameter. Only during the last decade did it become possible to quantify T1 values of the myocardium through T1 mapping. Evolving from only region of interest analysis and long acquisition times to the pixel-based parametric mapping and short breath-hold sequences, T1 mapping is reaching maturity among cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques. Both inversion recovery methods such as MOdified Look-Locker Inversion (MOL-LI) and Shortened MOLLI (ShMOLLI) and saturation recovery methods such as Saturation recovery Single-Shot Acquisition (SASHA) are available for T1 quantification with variable degrees of accuracy, precision, and reproducibility. Native (non-contrast) T1 values increase with edema, amyloid deposition, and fibrosis, while they decrease in fat or iron deposition in the myocardium. These features enabled significant expansion of the clinical applications of native T1 mapping where it provides high sensitivity and specificity and even acts as a disease biomarker or a predictor of prognosis. It is of particular usefulness in diffuse myocardial diseases where conventional CMR techniques might be deceiving. A brighter future for the technique is expected if certain challenges are to be faced, examples of which are the need for standardization of normal values, acquisition techniques, and improving analysis tools.