Highly k-t-space-accelerated phase-contrast MRI

Bernd Jung, Matthias Honal, Peter Ullmann, Jürgen Hennig, Michael Markl
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 2008, 60 (5): 1169-77
The purpose of this study was to combine a recently introduced spatiotemporal parallel imaging technique, PEAK-GRAPPA (parallel MRI with extended and averaged generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisition), with two-dimensional (2D) cine phase-contrast velocity mapping. Phase-contrast MRI was applied to measure the blood flow in the thoracic aorta and the myocardial motion of the left ventricle. To evaluate the performance of different reconstruction methods, fully acquired k-space data sets were used to compare conventional parallel imaging using GRAPPA with reduction factors of R = 2-6 and PEAK-GRAPPA as well as sliding window reconstruction with reduction factors R = 2-12 (net acceleration factors up to 5.2). PEAK-GRAPPA reconstruction resulted in improved image quality with considerably reduced artifacts, which was also supported by error analysis. To analyze potential blurring or low-pass filtering effects of spatiotemporal PEAK-GRAPPA, the velocity time courses of aortic flow and myocardial tissue motion were evaluated and compared with conventional image reconstructions. Quantitative comparisons of blood flow velocities and pixel-wise correlation analysis of velocities highlight the potential of PEAK-GRAPPA for highly accelerated dynamic phase-contrast velocity mapping.

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