Rapid phase-modulated water excitation steady-state free precession for fat suppressed cine cardiovascular MR.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The purpose of this article is to describe a steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequence for fat suppressed cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). A rapid phase-modulated binomial water excitation (WE) pulse is utilized to minimize repetition time and acquisition time. METHODS: Three different water-excitation pulses were combined with cine-SSFP for evaluation. The frequency response of each sequence was simulated and examined in phantom imaging studies. The ratio of fat to water signal amplitude was measured in phantoms to evaluate the fat suppression capabilities of each method. Six volunteers underwent CMR of the heart at 1.5T to compare retrospectively-gated cine-SSFP with and without water excitation. The ratio of fat to myocardium signal amplitude was measured for conventional cine-SSFP and phase-modulated WE-SSFP. The proposed WE-SSFP method was tested in one patient referred for CMR to characterize a cardiac mass. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The measured frequency response in a phantom corresponded to the numerical Bloch equation simulation demonstrating the widened stop-band around the fat resonant frequency for all water-excitation pulses tested. In vivo measurements demonstrated that a rapid, phase-modulated water excitation pulse significantly reduced the signal amplitude ratio of fat to myocardium from 6.92 +/- 2.9 to 0.8 +/- 0.13 (mean +/- SD) without inducing any perceptible artifacts in SSFP cine CMR. CONCLUSION: Fat suppression can be achieved in SSFP cine CMR while maintaining steady-state equilibrium using rapid, phase modulated, binomial water-excitation pulses.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Current cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) examinations require expert planning, multiple breath holds, and 2D imaging. To address this, we sought to develop and validate a comprehensive free-breathing 3D cine function and flow CMR examination using a steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequence to depict anatomy fused with a spatially registered phase contrast (PC) sequence for blood flow analysis.<h4>Methods</h4>In a prospective study, 25 patients underwent a CMR examination which included a 3D cine SSFP sequence and a 3D cine PC (also known as 4D flow) sequence acquired during free-breathing and after the administration of a gadolinium-based contrast agent. Both 3D sequences covered the heart and mediastinum, and used retrospective vectorcardiogram gating (20 phases/beat interpolated to 30 phases/beat) and prospective respiratory motion compensation confining data acquisition to end-expiration. Cardiovascular measurements derived from the 3D cine SSFP and PC images were then compared with those from standard 2D imaging.<h4>Results</h4>All 3D cine SSFP and PC acquisitions were completed successfully. The mean time for the 3D cine sequences including prescription was shorter than that for the corresponding 2D sequences (21 min vs. 36 min, P-value <0.001). Left and right ventricular end-diastolic volumes and stroke volumes by 3D cine SSFP were slightly smaller than those from 2D cine SSFP (all biases ≤5%). The blood flow measurements from the 3D and 2D sequences had close agreement in the ascending aorta (bias -2.6%) but main pulmonary artery flow was lower with the 3D cine sequence (bias -11.2%).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Compared to the conventional 2D cine approach, a comprehensive 3D cine function and flow examination was faster and yielded slightly lower left and right end-diastolic volumes, stroke volumes, and main pulmonary artery blood flow. This free-breathing 3D cine approach allows flexible post-examination data analysis and has the potential to make examinations more comfortable for patients and easier to perform for the operator.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>While cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) commonly employs ECG-synchronized cine acquisitions with balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) contrast at 1.5 T, recent developments at 3 T demonstrate significant potential for T1-weighted real-time imaging at high spatiotemporal resolution using undersampled radial FLASH. The purpose of this work was to combine both ideas and to evaluate a corresponding real-time CMR method at 1.5 T with SSFP contrast.<h4>Methods</h4>Radial gradient-echo sequences with fully balanced gradients and at least 15-fold undersampling were implemented on two CMR systems with different gradient performance. Image reconstruction by regularized nonlinear inversion (NLINV) was performed offline and resulted in real-time SSFP CMR images at a nominal resolution of 1.8 mm and with acquisition times of 40 ms.<h4>Results</h4>Studies of healthy subjects demonstrated technical feasibility in terms of robustness and general image quality. Clinical applicability with access to quantitative evaluations (e.g., ejection fraction) was confirmed by preliminary applications to 27 patients with typical indications for CMR including arrhythmias and abnormal wall motion. Real-time image quality was slightly lower than for cine SSFP recordings, but considered diagnostic in all cases.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Extending conventional cine approaches, real-time radial SSFP CMR with NLINV reconstruction provides access to individual cardiac cycles and allows for studies of patients with irregular heartbeat.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Final infarct size following coronary occlusion is determined by the duration of ischemia, the size of myocardium at risk (MaR) and reperfusion injury. The reference method for determining MaR, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) before reperfusion, is impractical in an acute setting. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether MaR can be determined from the contrast enhanced myocardium using steady-state free precession (SSFP) cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) performed one week after the acute event in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients with total coronary occlusion.<h4>Results</h4>Sixteen patients with STEMI (age 64 +/- 8 years) received intravenous 99 m-Tc immediately before primary percutaneous coronary intervention. SPECT was performed within four hours. MaR was defined as the non-perfused myocardial volume derived with SPECT. CMR was performed 7.8 +/- 1.2 days after the myocardial infarction using a protocol in which the contrast agent was administered before acquisition of short-axis SSFP cines. MaR was evaluated as the contrast enhanced myocardial volume in the cines by two blinded observers. MaR determined from the enhanced region on cine CMR correlated significantly with that derived with SPECT (r2 = 0.78, p < 0.001). The difference in MaR determined by CMR and SPECT was 0.5 +/- 5.1% (mean +/- SD). The interobserver variability of contrast enhanced cine SSFP measurements was 1.6 +/- 3.7% (mean +/- SD) of the left ventricle wall volume.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Contrast enhanced SSFP cine CMR performed one week after acute infarction accurately depicts MaR prior to reperfusion in STEMI patients with total occlusion undergoing primary PCI. This suggests that a single CMR examination might be performed for determination of MaR and infarct size.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Functional assessments of the heart by dynamic cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) commonly rely on (i) electrocardiographic (ECG) gating yielding pseudo real-time cine representations, (ii) balanced gradient-echo sequences referred to as steady-state free precession (SSFP), and (iii) breath holding or respiratory gating. Problems may therefore be due to the need for a robust ECG signal, the occurrence of arrhythmia and beat to beat variations, technical instabilities (e.g., SSFP "banding" artefacts), and limited patient compliance and comfort. Here we describe a new approach providing true real-time CMR with image acquisition times as short as 20 to 30 ms or rates of 30 to 50 frames per second.<h4>Methods</h4>The approach relies on a previously developed real-time MR method, which combines a strongly undersampled radial FLASH CMR sequence with image reconstruction by regularized nonlinear inversion. While iterative reconstructions are currently performed offline due to limited computer speed, online monitoring during scanning is accomplished using gridding reconstructions with a sliding window at the same frame rate but with lower image quality.<h4>Results</h4>Scans of healthy young subjects were performed at 3 T without ECG gating and during free breathing. The resulting images yield T1 contrast (depending on flip angle) with an opposed-phase or in-phase condition for water and fat signals (depending on echo time). They completely avoid (i) susceptibility-induced artefacts due to the very short echo times, (ii) radiofrequency power limitations due to excitations with flip angles of 10 degrees or less, and (iii) the risk of peripheral nerve stimulation due to the use of normal gradient switching modes. For a section thickness of 8 mm, real-time images offer a spatial resolution and total acquisition time of 1.5 mm at 30 ms and 2.0 mm at 22 ms, respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Though awaiting thorough clinical evaluation, this work describes a robust and flexible acquisition and reconstruction technique for real-time CMR at the ultimate limit of this technology.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Functional and morphologic assessment of the right ventricle (RV) is of clinical importance. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) at 1.5T has become gold standard for RV chamber quantification and assessment of even small wall motion abnormalities, but tissue analysis is still hampered by limited spatial resolution. CMR at 7T promises increased resolution, but is technically challenging. We examined the feasibility of cine imaging at 7T to assess the RV.<h4>Methods</h4>Nine healthy volunteers underwent CMR at 7T using a 16-element TX/RX coil and acoustic cardiac gating. 1.5T served as gold standard. At 1.5T, steady-state free-precession (SSFP) cine imaging with voxel size (1.2 x 1.2 x 6) mm3 was used; at 7T, fast gradient echo (FGRE) with voxel size (1.2 x 1.2 x 6) mm3 and (1.3 x 1.3 x 4) mm3 were applied. RV dimensions (RVEDV, RVESV), RV mass (RVM) and RV function (RVEF) were quantified in transverse slices. Overall image quality, image contrast and image homogeneity were assessed in transverse and sagittal views.<h4>Results</h4>All scans provided diagnostic image quality. Overall image quality and image contrast of transverse RV views were rated equally for SSFP at 1.5T and FGRE at 7T with voxel size (1.3 x 1.3 x 4)mm3. FGRE at 7T provided significantly lower image homogeneity compared to SSFP at 1.5T. RVEDV, RVESV, RVEF and RVM did not differ significantly and agreed close between SSFP at 1.5T and FGRE at 7T (p=0.5850; p=0.5462; p=0.2789; p=0.0743). FGRE at 7T with voxel size (1.3 x 1.3 x 4) mm3 tended to overestimate RV volumes compared to SSFP at 1.5T (mean difference of RVEDV 8.2 ± 9.3 ml) and to FGRE at 7T with voxel size (1.2 x 1.2 x 6) mm3 (mean difference of RVEDV 9.3 ± 8.6 ml).<h4>Conclusions</h4>FGRE cine imaging of the RV at 7T was feasible and provided good image quality. RV dimensions and function were comparable to SSFP at 1.5T as gold standard.
Project description:PURPOSE:To develop a method for banding-free balanced SSFP cardiac cine imaging in a single breath-hold. METHODS:A frequency modulation scheme was designed for cardiac applications to eliminate the time normally required for steady-state stabilization between multiple phase-cycled acquisitions. Highly undersampled acquisitions were reconstructed using a model-based reconstruction that exploits redundancy both over time and between phase cycles. Performance of the methods was evaluated using both retrospective and prospective undersampling in scans with and without frequency modulation from four subjects. RESULTS:The proposed methods enabled balanced SSFP cardiac cine with three effective phase cycles in only 10 heartbeats. Images acquired with frequency modulation and with standard phase cycling were of similar quality. The combination of temporal and inter-acquisition similarity constraints reduced errors by approximately 45% compared to enforcing similarity constraints over time alone. CONCLUSIONS:In off-resonance conditions that preclude the acquisition of single-acquisition balanced SSFP, phase cycling can eliminate the dark bands in balanced SSFP cine cardiac imaging at the expense of some SNR efficiency. The proposed techniques permit these types of acquisitions in a single breath-hold.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) left atrial (LA) cine suffers from off-resonance artifacts, particularly in the pulmonary veins (PVs). Linear combination or multiple-acquisition SSFP (MA-SSFP) effectively removes banding but greatly increases scan time. We hypothesized that MA-SSFP with interleaved radial undersampling, where each phase-cycling is acquired with an interleaved set of radial projections, would improve image quality of LA cine with a small increase of scan time and streak artefacts.<h4>Methods</h4>Undersampled radial MA-SSFP with and without interleaving was compared with fully sampled radial bSSFP by means of simulations, phantoms, and in vivo imaging. Ten healthy subjects were imaged on a 3T scanner, with bSSFP and MA-SSFP cine of the left atrium, and B0-mapping. Images were assessed (1 = worst, 5 = best) by 2 independent readers, with respect to 5 qualitative criteria and apparent signal-to-noise ratio.<h4>Results</h4>In healthy subjects, off-resonance differed from the right inferior PVs to the LA cavity by 163 Hz ± 73 Hz at 3T. Compared with fully sampled radial bSSFP, interleaved radial MA-SSFP significantly improved image quality with respect to off-resonance artifacts (3.8 ± 0.6 versus 2.3 ± 1.0; P = 0.005), PV conspicuity (2.8 ± 1.0 versus 4.3 ± 0.5; P = 0.005), and the number of visualized PVs (1.7 ± 0.4 versus 0.9 ± 0.7; P = 0.008), although with greater streak artifacts (3.4 ± 0.4 versus 4.9 ± 0.2; P = 0.004) and lower measured apparent signal-to-noise ratio (24 ± 9 versus 69 ± 36; P = 0.002). Flow artifacts were similar. Interleaved radial MA-SSFP reduced streaking artifacts and increased apparent signal-to-noise ratio versus noninterleaved radial.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Interleaved radial MA-SSFP cine reduces banding artifacts with an acceptable increase of scan time and streak artifacts. The proposed technique improves the LA and PV visualization in bSSFP cine imaging.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is an important tool in the assessment of paediatric cardiac disease. Reported reference values of ventricular volumes and masses in the paediatric population are based on small cohorts and several methodologic differences between studies exist. We sought to create steady-state free precession (SSFP) CMR reference values for biventricular volumes and mass by combining data of previously published studies and re-analysing these data in a standardized manner.<h4>Methods and results</h4>A total of 141 healthy children (68 boys) from three European centres underwent cine-SSFP CMR imaging. Cardiac structures were manually contoured for end-diastolic and end-systolic phases in the short-axis orientation according to current standardized CMR post-processing guidelines. Volumes and masses were derived from these contours. Age-related reference curves were constructed using the lambda mu sigma method. Median age was 12.7?years (range 0.6-18.5). We report biventricular volumes and masses, unindexed and indexed for body surface area, stratified by age groups. In general, boys had approximately 15% higher biventricular volumes and masses compared with girls. Only in children aged <6?years old no gender differences could be observed. Left ventricle ejection fraction was slightly higher in boys in this study population (median 67% vs. 65%, P = 0.016). Age-related reference curves showed non-linear relations between age and cardiac parameters.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We report volumetric SSFP CMR imaging reference values for children aged 0-18?years old in a relatively large multi-centre cohort. These references can be used in the follow-up of paediatric cardiac disease and for research purposes.