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PURPOSE: We test the reproducibility of human cardiac phosphorus MRS (31 P-MRS) at ultra-high field strength (7 T) for the first time. The primary motivation of this work was to assess the reproducibility of a 'rapid' 6½ min 31 P three-dimensional chemical shift imaging (3D-CSI) sequence, which if sufficiently reproducible would allow the study of stress-response processes. We compare this with an established 28 min protocol, designed to record high-quality spectra in a clinically feasible scan time. Finally, we use this opportunity to compare the effect of per-subject B0 shimming on data quality and reproducibility in the 6½ min protocol. METHODS: 10 healthy subjects were scanned on two occasions: one to test the 28 min 3D-CSI protocol, and one to test the 6½ min protocol. Spectra were fitted using the OXSA MATLAB toolbox. The phosphocreatine to adenosine triphosphate concentration ratio (PCr/ATP) from each scan was analysed for intra- and intersubject variability. The impact of different strategies for voxel selection was assessed. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between repeated measurements in the same subject. For the 28 min protocol, PCr/ATP in the midseptal voxel across all scans was 1.91 ± 0.36 (mean ± intersubject SD). For the 6½ min protocol, PCr/ATP in the midseptal voxel was 1.76 ± 0.40. The coefficients of reproducibility (CRs) were 0.49 (28 min) and 0.67 (6½ min). Per-subject B0 shimming improved the fitted PCr/ATP precision (for 6½ min scans), but had negligible effect on the CR (0.67 versus 0.66). CONCLUSIONS: Both 7 T protocols show improved reproducibility compared with a previous 3 T study by Tyler et al. Our results will enable informed power calculations and protocol selection for future clinical research studies.

Original publication




Journal article


NMR Biomed

Publication Date





31P, 7 T, MRS, cardiac, human, reproducibility