Background: Myocardial oxygenation imaging could help determine the presence of microvascular dysfunction associated with increased cardiovascular risk. However, it is challenging to depict the potentially small oxygenation alterations with current noninvasive cardiac MRI blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) techniques. Purpose: To demonstrate the cardiac application of a gradient-echo spin-echo (GESE) echo-planar imaging sequence for dynamic and quantitative heartbeat-to-heartbeat BOLD MRI and evaluate the sequence in populations both healthy and with hypertension in combination with a breath hold–induced CO2 intervention. Materials and Methods: GESE echo-planar imaging sequence was performed in 18 healthy participants and in eight prospectively recruited participants with hypertension on a 3.0-T MRI system. T2 and T2* maps were calculated per heartbeat with a four-parameter fitting technique. Septal regions of interests were used to determine T2 and T2* values per heartbeat and examined over the course of a breath hold to determine BOLD changes. T2 and T2* changes of healthy participants and participants with hypertension were compared by using a nonparametric Mann-Whitney test. Results: GESE echo-planar imaging approach gave spatially stable T2 and T2* maps per heartbeat for healthy participants and participants with hypertension, with mean T2 values of 43 msec 6 5 (standard deviation) and 46 msec 6 9, respectively, and mean T2* values of 28 msec 6 5 and 22 msec 6 5, respectively. The healthy participants exhibited increasing T2 and T2* values over the course of a breath hold with a mean positive slope of 0.2 msec per heartbeat 6 0.1 for T2 and 0.2 msec per heartbeat 6 0.1 for T2*, whereas for participants with hypertension these dynamic T2 and T2* values had a mean negative slope of 20.2 msec per heartbeat 6 0.2 for T2 and 20.1 msec per heartbeat 6 0.2 for T2*. The difference in these mean slopes between healthy participants and participants with hypertension was significant for both T2 (P , .001) and T2* (P , .001). Conclusion: Gradient-echo spin-echo echo-planar imaging sequence provided quantitative T2 and T2* maps per heartbeat and enabled dynamic heartbeat-to-heartbeat blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD)-response imaging by analyzing changes in T2 and T2* over the time of a breath-hold intervention. This approach could identify differences in the BOLD response between healthy participants and participants with hypertension.
- n/a OA procedure