REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Today’s medical imaging methods have insufficient specificity for reliable differentiation between benign and malignant breast lesions in patients. Pathologic evaluation is currently the only way to obtain a definitive diagnosis. This research will use a novel method of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Sweep Imaging with Fourier Transform (SWIFT), at very high magnetic field (4 Tesla) to distinguish malignant from benign breast lesions. Specificity will be gained from improved temporal resolution and contrast kinetic parameter extraction measured non-invasively with proton (1H) MRI. In addition to high temporal resolution and immunity to T2* effects at even the highest contrast agent concentrations, SWIFT offers several other improvements. The 3d radial sampling scheme is motion-correctable with simple k-space based processing. Due to the smooth rotating gradient trajectory, SWIFT is immune to gradient group delay, gradient ramp based errors, and produces orders of magnitude fewer eddy currents than other rapid radial sequences. Another extremely desirable effect of the smooth gradient is that SWIFT is extremely quiet, leading to an improved patient experience and fewer failures to scan. Breast lesions will be visualized by dynamic contrast-enhanced three-dimensional MRI and simultaneously processed into high-temporal resolution / low-spatial resolution, high-spatial resolution / low temporal-resolution, or mixed image series. Since data from a single scan can be formatted into variable spatial and temporal resolutions, the total imaging time can be reduced compared with standard MRI scanning methods. SWIFT MRI measurements will be correlated with biopsy results to determine whether this MRI sequence accurately identifies and characterizes malignant lesions in breast patients. This research will test the SWIFT sequence’s new capabilities in medical imaging for breast cancer diagnosis.