Objectives To propose and validate a novel imaging sequence that uses a single breath-hold whole-heart 3D T1 saturation recovery compressed SENSE rapid acquisition (SACORA) at 3T. Methods The proposed sequence combines fexible saturation time sampling, compressed SENSE, and sharing of saturation pulses between two readouts acquired at diferent RR intervals. The sequence was compared with a 3D saturation recovery single-shot acquisition (SASHA) implementation with phantom and in vivo experiments (pre and post contrast; 7 pigs) and was validated against the reference inversion recovery spin echo (IR-SE) sequence in phantom experiments. Results Phantom experiments showed that the T1 maps acquired by 3D SACORA and 3D SASHA agree well with IR--SE. In vivo experiments showed that the pre-contrast and post-contrast T1 maps acquired by 3D SACORA are comparable to the corresponding 3D SASHA maps, despite the shorter acquisition time (15s vs. 188s, for a heart rate of 60 bpm). Mean septal pre-contrast T1 was 1453±44 ms with 3D SACORA and 1460±60 ms with 3D SASHA. Mean septal post-contrast T1 was 824±66 ms and 824±60 ms. Conclusion 3D SACORA acquires 3D T1 maps in 15 heart beats (heart rate, 60 bpm) at 3T. In addition to its short acquisition time, the sequence achieves good T1 estimation precision and accuracy.
cardiovascular magnetic resonance; tissue characterization; 3d cardiac t1 mapping; single breathhold; saturation recovery