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  • Workshop presentation
  • Open Access

Convex gradient optimization for increased spatiotemporal resolution and improved accuracy in phase contrast MRI

  • 1, 2,
  • 1, 2 and
  • 1, 2
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201416 (Suppl 1) :W36

https://doi.org/10.1186/1532-429X-16-S1-W36

  • Published:

Keywords

  • Pulmonary Artery
  • Peak Velocity
  • Spatiotemporal Resolution
  • Siemens Trio
  • Sequence Efficiency

Background

Decades of research have helped mitigate numerous sources of error in phase contrast MRI (PC-MRI), nevertheless chemical shift induced phase errors (CS errors) and spatiotemporal undersampling errors (STU errors) remain critical sources of error for which a cogent error mitigation strategy is needed. CS errors, which arise in PC-MRI because the complex signal for perivascular fat chemically shifts across the vessel wall and corrupts the complex blood signal, can be mitigated with an in-phase TE (TEIN) and a high receiver bandwidth [1]. STU errors arise from suboptimal spatiotemporal resolution. The objective was to design a PC-MRI sequence with improved sequence efficiency and evaluate the impact on mitigating both CS and STU errors.

Methods

Hargreaves et al. [2] have shown that convex optimization (CVX) can be used to minimize gradient waveform durations subject to both hardware constraints (maximum available gradient amplitude and slew rate) and pulse sequence constraints (e.g. VENC, RF pulse, slice thickness, FOV, bandwidth, matrix size). We developed CVX PC-MRI to achieve improved spatiotemporal resolution to reduce STU errors while using the minimum TEIN (TEIN,MIN) to reduce CS errors for a fixed breath hold duration. Flow measurements were obtained at 3T (Siemens Trio) using a conventional flow compensated and flow encoded (FCFE) PC-MRI sequence and CVX PC-MRI optimized for high spatial resolution (CVX-SR) or high temporal resolution (CVX-TR). All sequences mitigated CS errors with a high receiver bandwidth and TEIN. CVX permits using TEIN,MIN = 2.46 ms while the FCFE sequence can only achieve TEIN = 4.92 ms. Total flow and peak velocity measurements were acquired in the ascending aorta (aAo), main pulmonary artery (PA), and right/left pulmonary arteries (RPA/LPA) of ten (N = 10) normal volunteers (Table 1).
Table 1

PC-MRI parameters.

 

FCFE

CVX-SR

CVX-TR

TEIN/TR (ms)

4.92/7.00

2.46/4.00

2.46/3.95

Temporal resolution (ms)

55.9

56.1

31.6

VENC (cm/s)

150

150

150

Parallel acceleration

rate-2 GRAPPA with 24 reference lines

Flip angle (degrees)

30

30

30

Segments

4

7

4

FOV (mm)

340 × 255

340 × 255

340 × 255

Pixel number

192 × 144

288 × 216

192 × 144

Pixel size (mm)

1.8 × 1.8

1.2 × 1.2

1.8 × 1.8

Bandwidth (Hz/px)

814

827

814

Duration (heart beats)

23

20

23

Acquired cardiac phases

13-18

13-18

23-32

The number of acquired cardiac phases is heart rate dependent

Results

The sequence efficiencies (readout duration/TR) were 17.7% for FCFE, 30.5% for CVX-SR, and 31.4% for CVX-TR. Measurements of total flow and peak velocity were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for CVX-SR and CVX-TR compared to FCFE (Table 2). On average, CVX-SR measured 8.1% higher total flow and 3.8% higher peak velocity and CVX-TR measured 5.1% higher total flow and 10.5% higher peak velocity.
Table 2

In vivo (N = 10) PC-MRI measures of total flow and peak velocity.

 

FCFE

CVX-SR

CVX-TR

Total Flow (mL)

aAo

89.0 ± 18.2

95.9 ± 19.4

93.5 ± 17.9

PA

92.6 ± 18.5

100.1 ± 20.1

97.2 ± 18.0†,‡

RPA

48.1 ± 9.5

52.5 ± 9.9

50.9 ± 9.5†,‡

LPA

44.3 ± 8.7

47.7 ± 10.2

46.4 ± 9.0

Peak Velocity (cm/s)

aAo

117.2 ± 17.2

121.6 ± 15.3

127.3 ± 15.8†,‡

PA

87.0 ± 11.8

90.0 ± 13.5

95.4 ± 15.4†,‡

RPA

93.8 ± 15.9

97.1 ± 16.8

104.7 ± 21.7†,‡

LPA

95.3 ± 18.0

99.7 ± 19.8

107.2 ± 19.9†,‡

Data are expressed as mean ± standard deviation P < 0.05 shows a statistical significant difference compared to FCFE. P < 0.05 shows a statistical significant difference compared to CVX-SR.

Conclusions

CVX PC-MRI nearly doubles sequence efficiency, reduces CS and STU errors, and produces more accurate measurements of blood flow and peak velocity. CVX-SR reports the highest total flow and CVX-TR reports the highest peak velocities, but further improvements in spatiotemporal resolution may still be needed for accurate quantification.

Funding

This work was enabled by research support from Siemens Medical Solutions and the Department of Radiological Sciences to DBE.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Radiological Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
(2)
Biomedical Physics Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

References

  1. Middione MJ, Ennis DB: The effects of chemically shifted perivascular fat in quantitative phase contrast MRI. Magn Reson Med. 2013, 69: 391-401. 10.1002/mrm.24262.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Hargreaves BA, Nishimura DG, Conolly SM: Time-optimal multidimensional gradient waveform design for rapid imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2004, 51 (1): 81-92. 10.1002/mrm.10666.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Middione et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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