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Background and study aim: Dixon Quantitative Chemical Shift Imaging (QCSI) to measure lumbar spine bone marrow fat signal fraction (FF), is considered the ‘gold standard’ for the determination and follow up of bone involvement in type I Gaucher disease (GD). Since there used to be only one centre in Europe (AMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) offering this technique, we transferred the Amsterdam QCSI technology to the University Hospital Gasthuisberg (Leuven, Belgium) and tested it on 9 Belgian patients.
Patients and methods: 9 GD patients entered the study from November 2006 till April 2010. Installation of the QCSI technique in Leuven required a visit of the Amsterdam MRI physicist (E.M.A.) for one day, to install software and train the local team. Requirements for running the technique are: a 1.5 Tesla MRI-scanner, Siemens or General Electric, with access to sequence programming and a dedicated physicist. A total of 22 scans were performed in Leuven and in 2 patients parallel scans were performed at the AMC, to determine reproducibility. The critical cut-off value of FF for bone disease is 23%, according to data published by the Amsterdam group.
Results: Four patients were scanned once and five patients at least 3 times. Two parallel scans in Leuven and Amsterdam were each performed within one week and showed good reproducibility (40.7% vs. 43.8% and 41% vs. 39% ). Due to a shortage of enzyme, enzyme replacement therapy ceased from August 2009 till January 2010, causing a detectable decrease in FF in 3 patients. This confirms that QCSI is useful in clinical follow-up.
Conclusion: This study shows that Dixon QCSI MRI technology is successfully transferable from one centre to another, offering the potential for spreading this technique to Gaucher MRI expert centres throughout the world.
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