Purpose: Breathing motion can create large errors when performing magnetic resonance (MR) thermometry of the breast. Breath holds can be used to minimize these errors, but not eliminate them. Between breath holds, the referenceless method can be used to further reduce errors by relying on regions of nonheated fatty tissue surrounding the heated region. When the surrounding tissue is heated (i.e., for a hyperthermia treatment), errors can result due to phase changes of the small amounts of water in the tissue. Therefore, an extension of the referenceless method is proposed which fits for the field in fatty tissue independent of temperature change and extrapolates it to the water-rich regions. Methods: Nonheating experiments were performed with male volunteers performing breath holds on top of a phantom mimicking a breast with a tumor. Heating experiments were also conducted with the same phantom while mechanically simulated breath holds were performed. A nonheating experiment was also performed with a healthy female breast. For each experiment, a nonlinear fitting algorithm was used to fit for temperature change and B0 field inside of the fatty tissue. The field changes were then extrapolated into water-rich (tumor) portions of the image using a least-squares fit to a fifth-order equation, to correct for field changes due to breath hold changes. Similar results were calculated using the image phase, to mimic the use of the referenceless method. Results: Phantom results showed large reduction of mean error and standard deviation. In the non-heating experiments, the traditional referenceless method and our extended method both corrected by similar amounts. However, in the heating experiments, the average deviation of the temperature calculated with the extended method from a fiber optic probe temperature was approximately 50% less than the deviation with the referenceless method. The in vivo breast results demonstrated reduced standard deviation and mean. Conclusions: In this paper, we have developed an extension of the referenceless method to correct for breathing errors using multiecho fitting methods to fit for the B0 field in the fatty tissue and using measured field changes as references to extrapolate field corrections into a water-only (tumor) region. This technique has been validated in a number of situations, and in all cases, the correction method has been shown to greatly reduce temperature error in water-rich regions. The method has also been shown to be an improvement over similar methods that use image phase changes instead of field changes, particularly when temperature changes are induced.
- breast cancer
- magnetic resonance thermometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging