Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) has utility for improving clinical diagnoses of solid tumors, and for evaluating the early responses of anti-angiogenic chemotherapies. The Reference Region Model (RRM) can improve the clinical implementation of DCE-MRI by substituting the contrast enhancement of muscle for the Arterial Input Function that is used in traditional DCE-MRI methodologies. The RRM is typically fitted to experimental results with a non-linear least squares algorithm. This report demonstrates that this algorithm produces inaccurate and imprecise results when DCE-MRI results have low SNR or slow temporal resolution. To overcome this limitation, a linear least-squares algorithm has been derived for the Reference Region Model. This new algorithm improves accuracy and precision of fitting the Reference Region Model to DCE-MRI results, especially for voxel-wise analyses. This linear algorithm is insensitive to injection speeds, and has 300- to 8000-fold faster calculation speed relative to the non-linear algorithm. The linear algorithm produces more accurate results for over a wider range of permeabilities and blood volumes of tumor vasculature. This new algorithm, termed the Linear Reference Region Model, has strong potential to improve clinical DCE-MRI evaluations.
- Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI
- Linear models
- Reference region model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging