CEST MR-Fingerprinting: Practical considerations and insights for acquisition schedule design and improved reconstruction

Or Perlman, Kai Herz, Moritz Zaiss, Ouri Cohen, Matthew S. Rosen, Christian T. Farrar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To understand the influence of various acquisition parameters on the ability of CEST MR-Fingerprinting (MRF) to discriminate different chemical exchange parameters and to provide tools for optimal acquisition schedule design and parameter map reconstruction. Methods: Numerical simulations were conducted using a parallel computing implementation of the Bloch-McConnell equations, examining the effect of TR, TE, flip-angle, water (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.), saturation-pulse duration, power, and frequency on the discrimination ability of CEST-MRF. A modified Euclidean distance matching metric was evaluated and compared to traditional dot product matching. L-Arginine phantoms of various concentrations and pH were scanned at 4.7T and the results compared to numerical findings. Results: Simulations for dot product matching demonstrated that the optimal flip-angle and saturation times are (Formula presented.) and 1100 ms, respectively. The optimal maximal saturation power was 3.4 μT for concentrated solutes with a slow exchange rate, and 5.2 μT for dilute solutes with medium-to-fast exchange rates. Using the Euclidean distance matching metric, much lower maximum saturation powers were required (1.6 and 2.4 μT, respectively), with a slightly longer saturation time (1500 ms) and (Formula presented.) flip-angle. For both matching metrics, the discrimination ability increased with the repetition time. The experimental results were in agreement with simulations, demonstrating that more than a 50% reduction in scan-time can be achieved by Euclidean distance-based matching. Conclusions: Optimization of the CEST-MRF acquisition schedule is critical for obtaining the best exchange parameter accuracy. The use of Euclidean distance-based matching of signal trajectories simultaneously improved the discrimination ability and reduced the scan time and maximal saturation power required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-478
Number of pages17
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthR01CA203873, P41-RR14075
National Cancer InstituteP30CA008748


    • chemical exchange rate
    • chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST)
    • magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF)
    • optimization
    • pH
    • quantitative imaging


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