A comparison of liver fat fraction measurement on MRI at 3T and 1.5T

Lavanya Athithan, Gaurav S. Gulsin, Michael J. House, Wenjie Pang, Emer M. Brady, Joanne Wormleighton, Kelly S. Parke, Matthew Graham-Brown, Tim G.St Pierre, Eylem Levelt, Gerry P. McCann

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Purpose Volumetric liver fat fraction (VLFF) measurements were made using the HepaFat-Scan® technique at 1.5T and 3T to determine the agreement between the measurements obtained at the two fields. Methods Sixty patients with type 2 diabetes (67% male, mean age 50.92 ± 6.56yrs) and thirty healthy volunteers (50% male, mean age 48.63 ± 6.32yrs) were scanned on 1.5T Aera and 3T Skyra (Siemens, Erlangen, Germany) MRI scanners on the same day using the HepaFat-Scan® gradient echo protocol with modification of echo times for 3T (TEs 2.38, 4.76, 7.14 ms at 1.5T and 1.2, 2.4, 3.6 ms at 3T). The 3T analyses were performed independently of the 1.5T analyses by a different analyst, blinded from the 1.5T results. Data were analysed for agreement and bias using Bland-Altman methods and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). A second cohort of 17 participants underwent interstudy repeatability assessment of VLFF measured by HepaFat-Scan® at 3T. Results A small, but statistically significant mean bias of 0.48% was observed between 3T and 1.5T with 95% limits of agreement-2.2% to 3.2% VLFF. The ICC for agreement between field strengths was 0.983 (95% CI 0.972 0.989). In the repeatability cohort studied at 3T the repeatability coefficient was 4.2%. The ICC for agreement was 0.971 (95% CI 0.921 0.989). Conclusion There is minimal bias and excellent agreement between the measures of VLFF using the HepaFat-Scan® at 1.5 and 3T. The test retest repeatability coefficient at 3T is comparable to the 95% limits of agreement between 1.5T and 3T suggesting that measurements can be made interchangeably between field strengths.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0252928
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7 July
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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