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Time-Resolved Contrast-Enhanced Three-Dimensional Magnetic Resonance Angiography of the Chest: Combination of Parallel Imaging With View Sharing (TREAT)

Fink, Christian MD*; Ley, Sebastian MD*; Kroeker, Randall PhD; Requardt, Martin PhD; Kauczor, Hans-Ulrich MD*; Bock, Michael PhD

Original Article
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Rationale and Objectives: In view sharing, some parts of k-space are updated more often than others, leading to an effective shortening of the total acquisition time. Undersampling of high-frequency k-space data, however, can result in artifacts at the edges of blood vessels, especially during the rapid signal intensity changes. The objective of this study was to evaluate a new time-resolved echo-shared angiographic technique (TREAT) combining parallel imaging with view sharing. First, the presence of artifacts arising from different temporal interpolation schemes was evaluated in simulations of the point spread function. Second, the image quality and presence of artifacts of time-resolved parallel three-dimensional magnetic resonance angiography (3D MRA) of the chest, acquired with and without view sharing, was assessed in a clinical study of patients with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease.

Materials and Methods: Using parameters from a time-resolved parallel 3D MRA sequence without view sharing (parallel MRA), giving a 33% increase in spatial resolution, our simulations have revealed that k-space segmentation in 3 regions provides acceptable artifacts. Thirty-six consecutive patients (mean age, 50 ± 16 years; 15 females, 22 males) were examined in a clinical study with TREAT. The image data were compared with that of a group of 31 consecutive patients (mean age, 46 ± 19 years; 12 females, 19 males) examined with a conventional time-resolved parallel MRA sequence without view sharing (parallel MRA). The image quality and presence of artifacts was assessed in a blind comparison by 2 radiologists in consensus using MPR and MIP reconstructions. Furthermore, the peak SNR of the pulmonary artery and aorta was compared between both MRA sequences.

Results: The image quality of TREAT was rated significantly higher than that of the parallel MRA sequence without view sharing: depending on the orientation of MPR and MIP reconstructions, an excellent image quality was found in 69–89% with TREAT and in 45–71% with the parallel MRA protocol without view sharing, respectively. The presence of artifacts was equal with both sequences.

Conclusion: View sharing can be successfully combined with other acceleration techniques, such as parallel imaging. TREAT allows the assessment of the thoracic vasculature with a high temporal and spatial resolution.

From*Abteilung Radiologie and †Abteilung Medizinische Physik in der Radiologie, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Innovative Krebsdiagnostik und Therapie, Heidelberg; and ‡Siemens Medical Solutions, Erlangen, Germany.

Received July 7, 2004 and accepted for publication, after revision, September 12, 2004.

Reprints: Christian Fink, MD, Innovative Krebsdiagnostik und Therapie, Abteilung Radiologie E010, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. E-mail: c.fink@dkfz.de.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.