Feasibility of 4D flow MR imaging of the brain with either Cartesian y-z radial sampling or k-t SENSE: comparison with 4D Flow MR imaging using SENSE

Tetsuro Sekine, Yasuo Amano, Ryo Takagi, Yoshio Matsumura, Yasuo Murai, Shinichiro Kumita
Magnetic Resonance in Medical Sciences: MRMS 2014, 13 (1): 15-24

PURPOSE: A drawback of time-resolved 3-dimensional phase contrast magnetic resonance (4D Flow MR) imaging is its lengthy scan time for clinical application in the brain. We assessed the feasibility for flow measurement and visualization of 4D Flow MR imaging using Cartesian y-z radial sampling and that using k-t sensitivity encoding (k-t SENSE) by comparison with the standard scan using SENSE.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixteen volunteers underwent 3 types of 4D Flow MR imaging of the brain using a 3.0-tesla scanner. As the standard scan, 4D Flow MR imaging with SENSE was performed first and then followed by 2 types of acceleration scan-with Cartesian y-z radial sampling and with k-t SENSE. We measured peak systolic velocity (PSV) and blood flow volume (BFV) in 9 arteries, and the percentage of particles arriving from the emitter plane at the target plane in 3 arteries, visually graded image quality in 9 arteries, and compared these quantitative and visual data between the standard scan and each acceleration scan.

RESULTS: 4D Flow MR imaging examinations were completed in all but one volunteer, who did not undergo the last examination because of headache. Each acceleration scan reduced scan time by 50% compared with the standard scan. The k-t SENSE imaging underestimated PSV and BFV (P < 0.05). There were significant correlations for PSV and BFV between the standard scan and each acceleration scan (P < 0.01). The percentage of particles reaching the target plane did not differ between the standard scan and each acceleration scan. For visual assessment, y-z radial sampling deteriorated the image quality of the 3 arteries.

CONCLUSION: Cartesian y-z radial sampling is feasible for measuring flow, and k-t SENSE offers sufficient flow visualization; both allow acquisition of 4D Flow MR imaging with shorter scan time.

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