Accuracy, Precision, and Reproducibility of Four T1 Mapping Sequences: A Head-to-Head Comparison of MOLLI, ShMOLLI, SASHA, and SAPPHIRE

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Saturation recovery single-shot acquisition and saturation pulse prepared heart rate independent inversion recovery have superior accuracy, inferior precision, and similar reproducibility compared with modified Look-Locker inversion recovery and shortened modified Look-Locker inversion recovery.


To compare accuracy, precision, and reproducibility of four commonly used myocardial T1 mapping sequences: modified Look-Locker inversion recovery (MOLLI), shortened MOLLI (ShMOLLI), saturation recovery single-shot acquisition (SASHA), and saturation pulse prepared heart rate independent inversion recovery (SAPPHIRE).

Materials and Methods

This HIPAA-compliant study was approved by the institutional review board. All subjects provided written informed consent. Accuracy, precision, and reproducibility of the four T1 mapping sequences were first compared in phantom experiments. In vivo analysis was performed in seven healthy subjects (mean age ± standard deviation, 38 years ± 19; four men, three women) who were imaged twice on two separate days. In vivo reproducibility of native T1 mapping and extracellular volume (ECV) were measured. Differences between the sequences were assessed by using Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon rank sum tests (phantom data) and mixed-effect models (in vivo data).


T1 mapping accuracy in phantoms was lower with ShMOLLI (62 msec) and MOLLI (44 msec) than with SASHA (13 msec; P < .05) and SAPPHIRE (12 msec; P < .05). MOLLI had similar precision to ShMOLLI (4.0 msec vs 5.6 msec; P = .07) but higher precision than SAPPHIRE (6.8 msec; P = .002) and SASHA (8.7 msec; P < .001). All sequences had similar reproducibility in phantoms (P = .1). The four sequences had similar in vivo reproducibility for native T1 mapping (∼25–50 msec; P > .05) and ECV quantification (∼0.01–0.02; P > .05).


SASHA and SAPPHIRE yield higher accuracy, lower precision, and similar reproducibility compared with MOLLI and ShMOLLI for T1 measurement. Different sequences yield different ECV values; however, all sequences have similar reproducibility for ECV quantification.

© RSNA, 2014

Online supplemental material is available for this article.


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Article History

Received February 5, 2014; revision requested February 14; revision received February 28; accepted March 10; final version accepted March 10.
Published online: Apr 04 2014
Published in print: Sept 2014