Sodium T2* relaxation times in human heart muscle.
Pabst T., Sandstede J., Beer M., Kenn W., Neubauer S., Hahn D.
PURPOSE: To determine sodium transverse relaxation (T2*) characteristics for myocardium, blood and cartilage in humans. METHODS: T2* measurements were performed using a 3D ECG-gated spoiled gradient echo sequence. A 1.5 Tesla clinical scanner and a 23Na heart surface coil were used to examine eight healthy volunteers. In biological tissue, the sodium 23 nucleus exhibits a two-component T2 relaxation due to the spin 3/2 and its quadrupolar nature. The long T2* components of normal myocardium, blood, and cartilage were quantified. For myocardium, the T2* was determined separately for the septum, anterior wall, lateral wall, and posterior wall. RESULTS: The long T2* relaxation time components of 13.3 +/- 4.3 msec (septum 13.9 +/- 3.2 msec, anterior wall 13.8 +/- 5.4 msec, lateral wall 11.4 +/- 4.1 msec, posterior wall 14.1 +/- 3.7 msec), 19.3 +/- 3.3 msec, and 10.2 +/- 1.6 msec, were significantly different for myocardium, blood, and cartilage, respectively (P < 0.00001, Friedman's ANOVA). CONCLUSION: Measurement of 23Na T2* relaxation times is feasible for different regions of the human heart muscle, which might be useful for the evaluation of cardiac pathologies.