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TOMOGRAPHY, December 2016, Volume 2, Issue 4: 260-266
DOI: 10.18383/j.tom.2016.00142

Quantitative Magnetization Transfer Imaging of the Breast at 3.0 T: Reproducibility in Healthy Volunteers

Lori R. Arlinghaus1, Richard D. Dortch1,2,3, Jennifer G. Whisenant4, Hakmook Kang5,6, Richard G. Abramson1,2,4, and Thomas E. Yankeelov7,8,9,10

1Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; 2Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee; 4Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; 5Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; 6Center for Quantitative Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; 7Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas; 8Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas; 9Institute for Computational and Engineering Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas; and 10Livestrong Cancer Institutes, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas

Abstract

Quantitative magnetization transfer magnetic resonance imaging provides a means for indirectly detecting changes in the macromolecular content of tissue noninvasively. A potential application is the diagnosis and assessment of treatment response in breast cancer; however, before quantitative magnetization transfer imaging can be reliably used in such settings, the technique’s reproducibility in healthy breast tissue must be established. Thus, this study aims to establish the reproducibility of the measurement of the macromolecular-tofree water proton pool size ratio (PSR) in healthy fibroglandular (FG) breast tissue. Thirteen women with no history of breast disease were scanned twice within a single scanning session, with repositioning between scans. Eleven women had appreciable FG tissue for test–retest measurements. Mean PSR values for the FG tissue ranged from 9.5% to 16.7%. The absolute value of the difference between 2 mean PSR measurements for each volunteer ranged from 0.1% to 2.1%. The 95% confidence interval for the mean difference was ±0.75%, and the repeatability value was 2.39%. These results indicate that the expected measurement variability would be ±0.75% for a cohort of a similar size and would be ±2.39% for an individual, suggesting that future studies of change in PSR in patients with breast cancer are feasible.

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