Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To develop a novel framework for free-breathing MRI called XD-GRASP, which sorts dynamic data into extra motion-state dimensions using the self-navigation properties of radial imaging and reconstructs the multidimensional dataset using compressed sensing.<h4>Methods</h4>Radial k-space data are continuously acquired using the golden-angle sampling scheme and sorted into multiple motion-states based on respiratory and/or cardiac motion signals derived directly from the data. The resulting undersampled multidimensional dataset is reconstructed using a compressed sensing approach that exploits sparsity along the new dynamic dimensions. The performance of XD-GRASP is demonstrated for free-breathing three-dimensional (3D) abdominal imaging, two-dimensional (2D) cardiac cine imaging and 3D dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI of the liver, comparing against reconstructions without motion sorting in both healthy volunteers and patients.<h4>Results</h4>XD-GRASP separates respiratory motion from cardiac motion in cardiac imaging, and respiratory motion from contrast enhancement in liver DCE-MRI, which improves image quality and reduces motion-blurring artifacts.<h4>Conclusion</h4>XD-GRASP represents a new use of sparsity for motion compensation and a novel way to handle motions in the context of a continuous acquisition paradigm. Instead of removing or correcting motion, extra motion-state dimensions are reconstructed, which improves image quality and also offers new physiological information of potential clinical value.
Project description:PURPOSE:To develop a robust and efficient reconstruction framework that provides high-quality motion-compensated respiratory-resolved images from free-breathing 3D whole-heart Cartesian coronary magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA) acquisitions. METHODS:Recently, XD-GRASP (eXtra-Dimensional Golden-angle RAdial Sparse Parallel MRI) was proposed to achieve 100% scan efficiency and provide respiratory-resolved 3D radial CMRA images by exploiting sparsity in the respiratory dimension. Here, a reconstruction framework for Cartesian CMRA imaging is proposed, which provides respiratory-resolved motion-compensated images by incorporating 2D beat-to-beat translational motion information to increase sparsity in the respiratory dimension. The motion information is extracted from interleaved image navigators and is also used to compensate for 2D translational motion within each respiratory phase. The proposed Optimized Respiratory-resolved Cartesian Coronary MR Angiography (XD-ORCCA) method was tested on 10 healthy subjects and 2 patients with cardiovascular disease, and compared against XD-GRASP. RESULTS:The proposed XD-ORCCA provides high-quality respiratory-resolved images, allowing clear visualization of the right and left coronary arteries, even for irregular breathing patterns. Compared with XD-GRASP, the proposed method improves the visibility and sharpness of both coronaries. Significant differences (p?<?.05) in visible vessel length and proximal vessel sharpness were found between the 2 methods. The XD-GRASP method provides good-quality images in the absence of intraphase motion. However, motion blurring is observed in XD-GRASP images for respiratory phases with larger motion amplitudes and subjects with irregular breathing patterns. CONCLUSION:A robust respiratory-resolved motion-compensated framework for Cartesian CMRA has been proposed and tested in healthy subjects and patients. The proposed XD-ORCCA provides high-quality images for all respiratory phases, independently of the regularity of the breathing pattern.
Project description:PURPOSE:To develop an accelerated, free-breathing, noncontrast, electrocardiograph-triggered, thoracic MR angiography (NC-MRA) pulse sequence capable of achieving high spatial resolution at clinically acceptable scan time and test whether it produces clinically acceptable image quality in patients with suspected aortic disease. METHODS:We modified a "coronary" MRA pulse sequence to use a stack-of-stars k-space sampling pattern and combined it with golden-angle radial sparse parallel (GRASP reconstruction to enable self-navigation of respiratory motion and high data acceleration. The performance of the proposed NC-MRA was evaluated in 13 patients, where clinical standard contrast-enhanced MRA (CE-MRA) was used as control. For visual analysis, two readers graded the conspicuity of vessel lumen, artifacts, and noise level on a 5-point scale (overall score index = sum of three scores). The aortic diameters were measured at seven standardized locations. The mean visual scores, inter-observer variability, and vessel diameters were compared using appropriate statistical tests. RESULTS:The overall mean visual score index (12.1 ± 1.7 for CE-MRA versus 12.1 ± 1.0 for NC-MRA) scores were not significantly different (P > 0.16). The two readers' scores were significantly different for CE-MRA (P = 0.01) but not for NC-MRA (P = 0.21). The mean vessel diameters were not significantly different, except at the proximal aortic arch (P < 0.03). The mean diameters were strongly correlated (R2 ? 0.96) and in good agreement (absolute mean difference ? 0.01 cm and 95% confidence interval ? 0.62 cm). CONCLUSION:This study shows that the proposed NC-MRA produces clinically acceptable image quality in patients at high spatial resolution (1.5 mm × 1.5 mm × 1.5 mm) and clinically acceptable scan time (~6 min).
Project description:Liver dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) requires high spatiotemporal resolution and large field of view to clearly visualize all relevant enhancement phases and detect early-stage liver lesions. The low-rank plus sparse (L?+?S) reconstruction outperforms standard sparsity-only-based reconstruction through separation of low-rank background component (L) and sparse dynamic components (S). However, the L?+?S decomposition is sensitive to respiratory motion so that image quality is compromised when breathing occurs during long time data acquisition. To enable high quality reconstruction for free-breathing liver 4D DCE-MRI, this paper presents a novel method called SMC-LS, which incorporates Sliding Motion Compensation into the standard L?+?S reconstruction. The global superior-inferior displacement of the internal abdominal organs is inferred directly from the undersampled raw data and then used to correct the breathing induced sliding motion which is the dominant component of respiratory motion. With sliding motion compensation, the reconstructed temporal frames are roughly registered before applying the standard L?+?S decomposition. The proposed method has been validated using free-breathing liver 4D MRI phantom data, free-breathing liver 4D DCE-MRI phantom data, and in vivo free breathing liver 4D MRI dataset. Results demonstrated that SMC-LS reconstruction can effectively reduce motion blurring artefacts and preserve both spatial structures and temporal variations at a sub-second temporal frame rate for free-breathing whole-liver 4D DCE-MRI.
Project description:Non-Cartesian magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences have shown great promise for abdominal examination during free breathing, but break down in the presence of bulk patient motion (i.e. voluntary or involuntary patient movement resulting in translation, rotation or elastic deformations of the body). This work describes a data-consistency-driven image stabilization technique that detects and excludes bulk movements during data acquisition. Bulk motion is identified from changes in the signal intensity distribution across different elements of a multi-channel receive coil array. A short free induction decay signal is acquired after excitation and used as a measure to determine alterations in the load distribution. The technique has been implemented on a clinical MR scanner and evaluated in the abdomen. Six volunteers were scanned and two radiologists scored the reconstructions. To show the applicability to other body areas, additional neck and knee images were acquired. Data corrupted by bulk motion were successfully detected and excluded from image reconstruction. An overall increase in image sharpness and reduction of streaking and shine-through artifacts were seen in the volunteer study, as well as in the neck and knee scans. The proposed technique enables automatic real-time detection and exclusion of bulk motion during MR examinations without user interaction. It may help to improve the reliability of pediatric MRI examinations without the use of sedation.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Patients with thoracic aortic dilatation who undergo annual computed tomography angiography (CTA) are subject to repeated radiation and contrast exposure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a non-contrast, respiratory motion-resolved whole-heart cardiovascular magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA) technique against reference standard CTA, for the quantitative assessment of cardiovascular anatomy and monitoring of disease progression in patients with thoracic aortic dilatation. METHODS: Twenty-four patients (68.6?±?9.8 years) with thoracic aortic dilatation prospectively underwent clinical CTA and research 1.5T CMRA between July 2017 and November 2018. Scans were repeated in 15 patients 1 year later. A prototype free-breathing 3D radial balanced steady-state free-precession whole-heart CMRA sequence was used in combination with compressed sensing-based reconstruction. Area, circumference, and diameter measurements were obtained at seven aortic levels by two experienced and two inexperienced readers. In addition, area and diameter measurements of the cardiac chambers, pulmonary arteries and pulmonary veins were also obtained. Agreement between the two modalities was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis, Bland-Altman plots and scatter plots.<h4>Results</h4>Area, circumference and diameter measurements on a per-level analysis showed good or excellent agreement between CTA and CMRA (ICCs?>?0.84). Means of differences on Bland-Altman plots were: area 0.0 cm<sup>2</sup> [-?1.7; 1.6]; circumference 1.0 mm [-?10.0; 12.0], and diameter 0.6 mm [-?2.6; 3.6]. Area and diameter measurements of the left cardiac chambers showed good agreement (ICCs?>?0.80), while moderate to good agreement was observed for the right chambers (all ICCs?>?0.56). Similar good to excellent inter-modality agreement was shown for the pulmonary arteries and veins (ICC range 0.79-0.93), with the exception of the left lower pulmonary vein (ICC?<?0.51). Inter-reader assessment demonstrated mostly good or excellent agreement for both CTA and CMRA measurements on a per-level analysis (ICCs?>?0.64). Difference in maximum aortic diameter measurements at baseline vs follow up showed excellent agreement between CMRA and CTA (ICC?=?0.91).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The radial whole-heart CMRA technique combined with respiratory motion-resolved reconstruction provides comparable anatomical measurements of the thoracic aorta and cardiac structures as the reference standard CTA. It could potentially be used to diagnose and monitor patients with thoracic aortic dilatation without exposing them to radiation or contrast media.
Project description:Four-dimensional cone beam computed tomography (4D-CBCT) has been developed to provide respiratory phase-resolved volumetric imaging in image guided radiation therapy. Conventionally, it is reconstructed by first sorting the x-ray projections into multiple respiratory phase bins according to a breathing signal extracted either from the projection images or some external surrogates, and then reconstructing a 3D CBCT image in each phase bin independently using FDK algorithm. This method requires adequate number of projections for each phase, which can be achieved using a low gantry rotation or multiple gantry rotations. Inadequate number of projections in each phase bin results in low quality 4D-CBCT images with obvious streaking artifacts. 4D-CBCT images at different breathing phases share a lot of redundant information, because they represent the same anatomy captured at slightly different temporal points. Taking this redundancy along the temporal dimension into account can in principle facilitate the reconstruction in the situation of inadequate number of projection images. In this work, the authors propose two novel 4D-CBCT algorithms: an iterative reconstruction algorithm and an enhancement algorithm, utilizing a temporal nonlocal means (TNLM) method.The authors define a TNLM energy term for a given set of 4D-CBCT images. Minimization of this term favors those 4D-CBCT images such that any anatomical features at one spatial point at one phase can be found in a nearby spatial point at neighboring phases. 4D-CBCT reconstruction is achieved by minimizing a total energy containing a data fidelity term and the TNLM energy term. As for the image enhancement, 4D-CBCT images generated by the FDK algorithm are enhanced by minimizing the TNLM function while keeping the enhanced images close to the FDK results. A forward-backward splitting algorithm and a Gauss-Jacobi iteration method are employed to solve the problems. The algorithms implementation on GPU is designed to avoid redundant and uncoalesced memory access, in order to ensure a high computational efficiency. Our algorithms have been tested on a digital NURBS-based cardiac-torso phantom and a clinical patient case.The reconstruction algorithm and the enhancement algorithm generate visually similar 4D-CBCT images, both better than the FDK results. Quantitative evaluations indicate that, compared with the FDK results, our reconstruction method improves contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR) by a factor of 2.56-3.13 and our enhancement method increases the CNR by 2.75-3.33 times. The enhancement method also removes over 80% of the streak artifacts from the FDK results. The total computation time is 509-683 s for the reconstruction algorithm and 524-540 s for the enhancement algorithm on an NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU card.By innovatively taking the temporal redundancy among 4D-CBCT images into consideration, the proposed algorithms can produce high quality 4D-CBCT images with much less streak artifacts than the FDK results, in the situation of inadequate number of projections.
Project description:PURPOSE:4D flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and the assessment of wall shear stress (WSS) are non-invasive tools to study cardiovascular risks in vivo. Major limitations of conventional triggered methods are the long measurement times needed for high-resolution data sets and the necessity of stable electrocardiographic (ECG) triggering. In this work an ECG-free retrospectively synchronized method is presented that enables accelerated high-resolution measurements of 4D flow and WSS in the aortic arch of mice. METHODS:4D flow and WSS were measured in the aortic arch of 12-week-old wildtype C57BL/6 J mice (n = 7) with a radial 4D-phase-contrast (PC)-CMR sequence, which was validated in a flow phantom. Cardiac and respiratory motion signals were extracted from the radial CMR signal and were used for the reconstruction of 4D-flow data. Rigid motion correction and a first order B0 correction was used to improve the robustness of magnitude and velocity data. The aortic lumen was segmented semi-automatically. Temporally averaged and time-resolved WSS and oscillatory shear index (OSI) were calculated from the spatial velocity gradients at the lumen surface at 14 locations along the aortic arch. Reproducibility was tested in 3 animals and the influence of subsampling was investigated. RESULTS:Volume flow, cross-sectional areas, WSS and the OSI were determined in a measurement time of only 32 min. Longitudinal and circumferential WSS and radial stress were assessed at 14 analysis planes along the aortic arch. The average longitudinal, circumferential and radial stress values were 1.52 ± 0.29 N/m2, 0.28 ± 0.24 N/m2 and - 0.21 ± 0.19 N/m2, respectively. Good reproducibility of WSS values was observed. CONCLUSION:This work presents a robust measurement of 4D flow and WSS in mice without the need of ECG trigger signals. The retrospective approach provides fast flow quantification within 35 min and a flexible reconstruction framework.
Project description:BACKGROUND: High-resolution contrast-enhanced imaging of the murine atherosclerotic vessel wall is difficult due to unpredictable flow artifacts, motion of the thin artery wall and problems with flow suppression in the presence of a circulating contrast agent. METHODS AND RESULTS: We applied a 2D-FLASH retrospective-gated CINE MRI method at 9.4T to characterize atherosclerotic plaques and vessel wall distensibility in the aortic arch of aged ApoE(-/-) mice after injection of a contrast agent. The method enabled detection of contrast enhancement in atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic arch after I.V. injection of micelles and iron oxides resulting in reproducible plaque enhancement. Both contrast agents were taken up in the plaque, which was confirmed by histology. Additionally, the retrospective-gated CINE method provided images of the aortic wall throughout the cardiac cycle, from which the vessel wall distensibility could be calculated. Reduction in plaque size by statin treatment resulted in lower contrast enhancement and reduced wall stiffness. CONCLUSIONS: The retrospective-gated CINE MRI provides a robust and simple way to detect and quantify contrast enhancement in atherosclerotic plaques in the aortic wall of ApoE(-/-) mice. From the same scan, plaque-related changes in stiffness of the aortic wall can be determined. In this mouse model, a correlation between vessel wall stiffness and atherosclerotic lesions was found.