PURPOSE: To obtain a fast and robust fat-water separation with simultaneous estimation of water T1 , fat T1 , and fat fraction maps.
METHODS: We modified an MR fingerprinting (MRF) framework to use a single dictionary combination of a water and fat dictionary. A variable TE acquisition pattern with maximum TE = 4.8 ms was used to increase the fat-water separability. Radiofrequency (RF) spoiling was used to reduce the size of the dictionary by reducing T2 sensitivity. The technique was compared both in vitro and in vivo to an MRF method that incorporated 3-point Dixon (DIXON MRF), as well as Cartesian IDEAL with different acquisition parameters.
RESULTS: The proposed dictionary-based fat-water separation technique (DBFW MRF) successfully provided fat fraction, water, and fat T1 , B0 , and B1+ maps both in vitro and in vivo. The fat fraction and water T1 values obtained with DBFW MRF show excellent agreement with DIXON MRF as well as with the reference values obtained using a Cartesian IDEAL with a long TR (concordance correlation coefficient: 0.97/0.99 for fat fraction-water T1 ). Whereas fat fraction values with Cartesian IDEAL were degraded in the presence of T1 saturation, MRF methods successfully estimated and accounted for T1 in the fat fraction estimates.
CONCLUSION: The DBFW MRF technique can successfully provide T1 and fat fraction quantification in under 20 s per slice, intrinsically correcting T1 biases typical of fast Dixon techniques. These features could improve the diagnostic quality and use of images in presence of fat.