Towards fast and accurate temperature mapping with proton resonance frequency-based MR thermometry
The capability to image temperature is a very attractive feature of MRI and has been actively exploited for guiding minimallyinvasive thermal therapies. Among many MR-based temperature-sensitive approaches, proton resonance frequency (PRF) thermometry provides the advantage of excellent linearity of signal with temperature over a large temperature range. Furthermore, the PRF shift has been shown to be fairly independent of tissue type and thermal history. For these reasons, PRF method has evolved into the most widely used MR-based thermometry method. In the present paper, the basic principles of PRF-based temperature mapping will be reviewed, along with associated pulse sequence designs. Technical advancements aimed at increasing the imaging speed and/or temperature accuracy of PRF-based thermometry sequences, such as image acceleration, fat suppression, reduced field-of-view imaging, as well as motion tracking and correction, will be discussed. The development of accurate MR thermometry methods applicable to moving organs with non-negligible fat content represents a very challenging goal, but recent developments suggest that this goal may be achieved. If so, MR-guided thermal therapies may be expected to play an increasingly-important therapeutic and palliative role, as a minimally-invasive alternative to surgery.