Rapid high-resolution volumetric T1 mapping using a highly accelerated stack-of-stars Look Locker technique

Zhitao Li, Zhiyang Fu, Mahesh Keerthivasan, Ali Bilgin, Kevin Johnson, Jean Philippe Galons, Srinivasan Vedantham, Diego R. Martin, Maria I. Altbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop a fast volumetric T1 mapping technique. Materials and methods: A stack-of-stars (SOS) Look Locker technique based on the acquisition of undersampled radial data (>30× relative to Nyquist) and an efficient multi-slab excitation scheme is presented. A principal-component based reconstruction is used to reconstruct T1 maps. Computer simulations were performed to determine the best choice of partitions per slab and degree of undersampling. The technique was validated in phantoms against reference T1 values measured with a 2D Cartesian inversion-recovery spin-echo technique. The SOS Look Locker technique was tested in brain (n = 4) and prostate (n = 5). Brain T1 mapping was carried out with and without kz acceleration and results between the two approaches were compared. Prostate T1 mapping was compared to standard techniques. A reproducibility study was conducted in brain and prostate. Statistical analyses were performed using linear regression and Bland Altman analysis. Results: Phantom T1 values showed excellent correlations between SOS Look Locker and the inversion-recovery spin-echo reference (r2 = 0.9965; p < 0.0001) and between SOS Look Locker with slab-selective and non-slab selective inversion pulses (r2 = 0.9999; p < 0.0001). In vivo results showed that full brain T1 mapping (1 mm3) with kz acceleration is achieved in 4 min 21 s. Full prostate T1 mapping (0.9 × 0.9 × 4 mm3) is achieved in 2 min 43 s. T1 values for brain and prostate were in agreement with literature values. A reproducibility study showed coefficients of variation in the range of 0.18–0.2% (brain) and 0.15–0.18% (prostate). Conclusion: A rapid volumetric T1 mapping technique was developed. The technique enables high-resolution T1 mapping with adequate anatomical coverage in a clinically acceptable time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • 3D radial MRI
  • Look-Locker method
  • Model-based
  • T
  • T mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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