Accurate quantification of myocardial perfusion remains challenging due to saturation of the arterial input function at high contrast concentrations. A method for estimating the arterial input function directly from tissue curves in the myocardium that avoids these difficulties is presented. In this constrained alternating minimization with model (CAMM) algorithm, a portion of the left ventricular blood pool signal is also used to constrain the estimation process. Extensive computer simulations assessing the accuracy of kinetic parameter estimation were performed. In 5000 noise realizations, the use of the AIF given by the estimation method returned kinetic parameters with mean Ktrans error of -2% and mean kep error of 0.4%. Twenty in vivo resting perfusion datasets were also processed with this method, and pharmacokinetic parameter values derived from the blind AIF were compared with those derived from a dual-bolus measured AIF. For 17 of the 20 datasets, there were no statistically significant differences in Ktrans estimates, and in aggregate the kinetic parameters were not significantly different from the dual-bolus method. The cardiac constrained alternating minimization with model method presented here provides a promising approach to quantifying perfusion of myocardial tissue with a single injection of contrast agent and without a special pulse sequence though further work is needed to validate the approach in a clinical setting.
- contrast-enhanced MRI
- myocardial perfusion imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging