PURPOSE: Quantitative T1 mapping is a magnetic resonance imaging technique that estimates the spin-lattice relaxation time of tissues. Even though T1 mapping has a broad range of potential applications, it is not routinely used in clinical practice as accurate and precise high resolution T1 mapping requires infeasibly long acquisition times.
METHOD: To improve the trade-off between the acquisition time, signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution, we acquire a set of low resolution T1 -weighted images and directly estimate a high resolution T1 map by means of super-resolution reconstruction.
RESULTS: Simulation and in vivo experiments show an increased spatial resolution of the T1 map, while preserving a high signal-to-noise ratio and short scan time. Moreover, the proposed method outperforms conventional estimation in terms of root-mean-square error.
CONCLUSION: Super resolution T1 estimation enables resolution enhancement in T1 mapping with the use of standard (inversion recovery) T1 acquisition sequences. Magn Reson Med 77:1818-1830, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.