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A BOLD Contrast Imaging Sequence to Evaluate Oxygenation Changes Due to Breath Holding for Breast Radiotherapy: A Pilot Study

J Adamson

J Adamson*, Z Chang , J Cai , M Palta , J Horton , F Yin , R Blitzblau , Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC


SU-E-J-223 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: To develop a robust MRI sequence to measure BOLD breath hold induced contrast in context of breast radiotherapy.

Methods: Two sequences were selected from prior studies as candidates to measure BOLD contrast attributable to breath holding within the breast: (1) T2* based Gradient Echo EPI (TR/TE = 500/41ms, flip angle = 60°), and (2) T2 based Single Shot Fast Spin Echo (SSFSE) (TR/TE = 3000/60ms). We enrolled ten women post-lumpectomy for breast cancer who were undergoing treatment planning for whole breast radiotherapy. Each session utilized a 1.5T GE MRI and 4 channel breast coil with the subject immobilized prone on a custom board. For each sequence, 1-3 planes of the lumpectomy breast were imaged continuously during a background measurement (1min) and intermittent breath holds (20-40s per breath hold, 3-5 holds per sequence). BOLD contrast was quantified as correlation of changes in per-pixel intensity with the breath hold schedule convolved with a hemodynamic response function. Subtle motion was corrected using a deformable registration algorithm. Correlation with breath-holding was considered significant if p<0.001.

Results: The percentage of the breast ROI with positive BOLD contrast measured by the two sequences were in agreement with a correlation coefficient of R=0.72 (p=0.02). While both sequences demonstrated areas with strong BOLD response, the response was more systematic throughout the breast for the SSFSE (T2) sequence (% breast with response in the same direction: 51.2%±0.7% for T2* vs. 68.1%±16% for T2). In addition, the T2 sequence was less prone to magnetic susceptibility artifacts, especially in presence of seroma, and provided a more robust image with little distortion or artifacts.

Conclusion: A T2 SSFSE sequence shows promise for measuring BOLD contrast in the context of breast radiotherapy utilizing a breath hold technique. Further study in a larger patient cohort is warranted to better refine this novel technique.

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