Accelerated phase-contrast MR imaging: comparison of k-t BLAST with SENSE and Doppler ultrasound for velocity and flow measurements in the aorta

Andreas Stadlbauer, Wilma van der Riet, Sebastian Globits, Gerard Crelier, Erich Salomonowitz
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging: JMRI 2009, 29 (4): 817-24

PURPOSE: To evaluate differences in velocity and flow measurements in the aorta between accelerated phase-contrast (PC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using SENSE and k-t BLAST and in peak velocity to Doppler ultrasound.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two-dimensional PC-MRI perpendicular to the ascending and descending aorta was performed in 11 volunteers using SENSE (R = 2) and k-t BLAST (2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-fold). Peak velocity, mean velocity, and stroke volume of the accelerated PC-MRI experiments were correlated. Peak velocities were compared to Doppler ultrasound.

RESULTS: All acceleration techniques showed significant correlations for peak velocity with Doppler ultrasound. However, k-t BLAST 6 and 8 showed a significant underestimation. Strong correlations between SENSE and k-t BLAST were found for all three parameters. Significant differences in peak velocity were found between SENSE and all k-t BLAST experiments, but not for 2-fold k-t BLAST in the ascending aorta, and 2- and 4-fold k-t BLAST in the descending aorta. For mean velocity no significant differences were found. Stroke volume showed significant differences for all k-t BLAST experiments in the ascending and for 6- and 8-fold k-t BLAST in the descending aorta.

CONCLUSION: Peak velocity of accelerated PC-MRI correlated with CW Doppler measurements, but high k-t BLAST acceleration factors lead to a significant underestimation. SENSE with R = 2 and 2-fold k-t BLAST are most highly correlated in phase-contrast flow measurements.

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