Rapid dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI for small animals at 7T using 3D ultra-short echo time and golden-angle radial sparse parallel MRI.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:To develop a rapid dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI method with high spatial and temporal resolution for small-animal imaging at 7 Tesla. METHODS:An ultra-short echo time (UTE) pulse sequence using a 3D golden-angle radial sampling was implemented to achieve isotropic spatial resolution with flexible temporal resolution. Continuously acquired radial spokes were grouped into subsets for image reconstruction using a multicoil compressed sensing approach (Golden-angle RAdial Sparse Parallel; GRASP). The proposed 3D-UTE-GRASP method with high temporal and spatial resolutions was tested using 7 mice with GL261 intracranial glioma models. RESULTS:Iterative reconstruction with different temporal resolutions and regularization factors ? showed that, in all cases, the cost function decreased to less than 2.5% of its starting value within 20 iterations. The difference between the time-intensity curves of 3D-UTE-GRASP and nonuniform fast Fourier transform (NUFFT) images was minimal when ? was 1% of the maximum signal intensity of the initial NUFFT images. The 3D isotropic images were used to generate pharmacokinetic parameter maps to show the detailed images of the tumor characteristics in 3D and also to show longitudinal changes during tumor growth. CONCLUSION:This feasibility study demonstrated that the proposed 3D-UTE-GRASP method can be used for effective measurement of the 3D spatial heterogeneity of tumor pharmacokinetic parameters.
Project description:The purpose of this work was to use 3D radial ultrashort echo time (UTE) MRI to perform whole-lung oxygen-enhanced (OE) imaging in humans. Eight healthy human subjects underwent two 3D radial UTE MRI acquisitions (TE = 0.08 ms): one while breathing 21% O2 and the other while breathing 100% O2. Scans were each performed over 5 min of free breathing, using prospective respiratory gating. For comparison purposes, conventional echo time (TE = 2.1 ms) images were acquired simultaneously during each acquisition using a radial " outward-inward" k-space trajectory. 3D percent OE maps were generated from these images. 3D OE maps showing lung signal enhancement were generated successfully in seven subjects (technical failure in one subject). Mean percent signal enhancement was 6.6% ± 1.8%, near the value predicted by theory of 6.3%. No significant enhancement was seen using the conventional echo time data, confirming the importance of UTE for this acquisition strategy. 3D radial UTE MRI shows promise as a method for OE MRI that enables whole-lung coverage and isotropic spatial resolution, in comparison to existing 2D OE methods, which rely on a less time-efficient inversion recovery pulse sequence. These qualities may help OE MRI become a viable low-cost method for 3D imaging of lung function in human subjects.
Project description:To assess the feasibility of spatial-temporal constrained reconstruction for accelerated regional lung perfusion using highly undersampled dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) three-dimensional (3D) radial MRI with ultrashort echo time (UTE).A combined strategy was used to accelerate DCE MRI for 3D pulmonary perfusion with whole lung coverage. A highly undersampled 3D radial UTE MRI acquisition was combined with an iterative constrained reconstruction exploiting principal component analysis and wavelet soft-thresholding for dimensionality reduction in space and time. The performance of the method was evaluated using a 3D fractal-based DCE digital lung phantom. Simulated perfusion maps and contrast enhancement curves were compared with ground truth using the structural similarity index (SSIM) to determine robust threshold and regularization levels. Feasibility studies were then performed in a canine and a human subject with 3D radial UTE (TE=0.08 ms) acquisition to assess feasibility of mapping regional 3D perfusion.The method was able to accurately recover perfusion maps in the phantom with a nominal isotropic spatial resolution of 1.5 mm (SSIM of 0.949). The canine and human subject studies demonstrated feasibility for providing artifact-free perfusion maps in a simple 3D breath-held acquisition.The proposed method is promising for fast and flexible 3D pulmonary perfusion imaging. Magn Reson
Project description:BACKGROUND:A previous study demonstrated the feasibility of using 3D radial ultrashort echo time (UTE) oxygen-enhanced MRI (UTE OE-MRI) for functional imaging of healthy human lungs. The repeatability of quantitative measures from UTE OE-MRI needs to be established prior to its application in clinical research. PURPOSE:To evaluate repeatability of obstructive patterns in asthma and cystic fibrosis (CF) with UTE OE-MRI with isotropic spatial resolution and full chest coverage. STUDY TYPE:Volunteer and patient repeatability. POPULATION:Eighteen human subjects (five asthma, six CF, and seven normal subjects). FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE:Respiratory-gated free-breathing 3D radial UTE (80 ?s) sequence at 1.5T. ASSESSMENT:Two 3D radial UTE volumes were acquired sequentially under normoxic and hyperoxic conditions. A subset of subjects underwent repeat acquisitions on either the same day or ?15 days apart. Asthma and CF subjects also underwent spirometry. A workflow including deformable registration and retrospective lung density correction was used to compute 3D isotropic percent signal enhancement (PSE) maps. Median PSE (MPSE) and ventilation defect percent (VDP) of the lung were measured from the PSE map. STATISTICAL TESTS:The relations between MPSE, VDP, and spirometric measures were assessed using Spearman correlations. The test-retest repeatability was evaluated using Bland-Altman analysis and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). RESULTS:Ventilation measures in normal subjects (MPSE?=?8.0%, VDP?=?3.3%) were significantly different from those in asthma (MPSE?=?6.0%, P?=?0.042; VDP?=?21.7%, P?=?0.018) and CF group (MPSE?=?4.5%, P?=?0.0006; VDP?=?27.2%, P?=?0.002). MPSE correlated significantly with forced expiratory lung volume in 1 second percent predicted (??=?0.72, P?=?0.017). The ICC of the test-retest VDP and MPSE were both ?0.90. In all subject groups, an anterior/posterior gradient was observed with higher MPSE and lower VDP in the posterior compared to anterior regions (P ? 0.0021 for all comparisons). DATA CONCLUSION:3D radial UTE OE-MRI supports quantitative differentiation of diseased vs. healthy lungs using either whole lung VDP or MPSE with excellent test-retest repeatability. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 1 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018;47:1287-1297.
Project description:PURPOSE:Magnetic resonance imaging of lungs is inherently challenging, but it has become more common with the use of UTE sequences and their relative insensitivity to motion. Spiral UTE sequences have been touted recently as having greater k-space sampling efficiencies than radial UTE, but few are designed for the shorter T2 * of the lung. In this study, FLORET (Fermat looped, orthogonally encoded trajectories), a recently developed spiral 3D-UTE sequence designed for the short T2 * species, was implemented in human lungs for the first time and the images were compared with traditional radial UTE images. METHODS:The FLORET sequence was implemented with parameters optimized for lung imaging on healthy and diseased (cystic fibrosis) subjects. On healthy subjects, radial UTE images (3D-radial and 2D-radial with phase encoding) were acquired for comparison to FLORET. Various metrics including SNR, vasculature contrast, diaphragm sharpness, and parenchymal density ratios were acquired and compared among the separate UTE sequences. RESULTS:The FLORET sequence performed similarly to traditional radial UTE methods with a much shorter total scan time for fully sampled images (FLORET: 1 minute 55 seconds, 3D-radial: 3 minutes 25 seconds, 2D-radial with phase encoding: 7 minutes 22 seconds). Additionally, the FLORET image obtained on the cystic fibrosis subject resulted in the observation of cystic fibrosis lung pathology similar or superior to that of the other UTE-MRI techniques. CONCLUSION:The FLORET sequence allows for faster acquisition of high diagnostic-quality lung images and its short T2 * components without sacrificing SNR, image quality, or tissue/disease quantification.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Computed tomography (CT) and spirometry are the current standard methods for assessing lung anatomy and pulmonary ventilation, respectively. However, CT provides limited ventilation information and spirometry only provides global measures of lung ventilation. Thus, a method that can enable simultaneous examination of lung anatomy and ventilation is of clinical interest. PURPOSE:To develop and test a 4D respiratory-resolved sparse lung MRI (XD-UTE: eXtra-Dimensional Ultrashort TE imaging) approach for simultaneous evaluation of lung anatomy and pulmonary ventilation. STUDY TYPE:Prospective. POPULATION:In all, 23 subjects (11 volunteers and 12 patients, mean age?=?63.6?±?8.4). FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE:3T MR; a prototype 3D golden-angle radial UTE sequence, a Cartesian breath-hold volumetric-interpolated examination (BH-VIBE) sequence. ASSESSMENT:All subjects were scanned using the 3D golden-angle radial UTE sequence during normal breathing. Ten subjects underwent an additional scan during alternating normal and deep breathing. Respiratory-motion-resolved sparse reconstruction was performed for all the acquired data to generate dynamic normal-breathing or deep-breathing image series. For comparison, BH-VIBE was performed in 12 subjects. Lung images were visually scored by three experienced chest radiologists and were analyzed by two observers who segmented the left and right lung to derive ventilation parameters in comparison with spirometry. STATISTICAL TESTS:Nonparametric paired two-tailed Wilcoxon signed-rank test; intraclass correlation coefficient, Pearson correlation coefficient. RESULTS:XD-UTE achieved significantly improved image quality compared both with Cartesian BH-VIBE and radial reconstruction without motion compensation (P?<?0.05). The global ventilation parameters (a sum of the left and right lung measures) were in good correlation with spirometry in the same subjects (correlation coefficient?=?0.724). There were excellent correlations between the results obtained by two observers (intraclass correlation coefficient ranged from 0.8855-0.9995). DATA CONCLUSION:Simultaneous evaluation of lung anatomy and ventilation using XD-UTE is demonstrated, which have shown good potential for improved diagnosis and management of patients with heterogeneous lung diseases. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 2 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;49:411-422.
Project description:PURPOSE:To provide nonrigid respiratory motion-corrected DCE-MRI images with isotropic resolution of 1.5 mm, full coverage of abdomen, and covering the entire uptake curve with a temporal resolution of 6 seconds, for the quantitative assessment of hepatic lesions. METHODS:3D DCE-MRI data were acquired at 3 T during free breathing for 5 minutes using a 3D T1 -weighted golden-angle radial phase-encoding sequence. Nonrigid respiratory motion information was extracted and used in motion-corrected image reconstruction to obtain high-quality DCE-MRI images with temporal resolution of 6 seconds and isotropic resolution of 1.5 mm. An extended Tofts model was fitted to the dynamic data sets, yielding quantitative parametric maps of endothelial permeability using the hepatic artery as input function. The proposed approach was evaluated in 11 patients (52 ± 17 years, 5 men) with and without known hepatic lesions, undergoing DCE-MRI. RESULTS:Respiratory motion produced artifacts and misalignment between dynamic volumes (lesion average motion amplitude of 3.82 ± 1.11 mm). Motion correction minimized artifacts and improved average contrast-to-noise ratio of hepatic lesions in late phase by 47% (p < .01). Quantitative endothelial permeability maps of motion-corrected data demonstrated enhanced visibility of different pathologies (e.g., metastases, hemangiomas, cysts, necrotic tumor substructure) and showed improved contrast-to-noise ratio by 62% (p < .01) compared with uncorrected data. CONCLUSION:3D nonrigid motion correction in DCE-MRI improves both visual and quantitative assessment of hepatic lesions by ensuring accurate alignment between 3D DCE images and reducing motion blurring. This approach does not require breath-holds and minimizes scan planning by using a large FOV with isotropic resolution.
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 a dual-radiofrequency (RF), dual-echo, 3D ultrashort echo-time (UTE) pulse sequence and bone-selective image reconstruction for rapid high-resolution craniofacial MRI. METHODS:The proposed pulse sequence builds on recently introduced dual-RF UTE imaging. While yielding enhanced bone specificity by exploiting high sensitivity of short T2 signals to variable RF pulse widths, the parent technique exacts a 2-fold scan time penalty relative to standard dual-echo UTE. In the proposed method, the parent sequence's dual-RF scheme was incorporated into dual-echo acquisitions while radial view angles are varied every pulse-to-pulse repetition period. The resulting 4 echoes (2 for each RF) were combined by view-sharing to construct 2 sets of k-space data sets, corresponding to short and long TEs, respectively, leading to a 2-fold increase in imaging efficiency. Furthermore, by exploiting the sparsity of bone signals in echo-difference images, acceleration was achieved by solving a bone-sparsity constrained image reconstruction problem. In vivo studies were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed acceleration approaches in comparison to the parent method. RESULTS:The proposed technique achieves 1.1-mm isotropic skull imaging in 3 minutes without visual loss of image quality, compared to the parent technique (scan time = 12 minutes). Bone-specific images and corresponding 3D renderings of the skull were found to depict the expected craniofacial anatomy over the entire head. CONCLUSION:The proposed method is able to achieve high-resolution volumetric craniofacial images in a clinically practical imaging time, and thus may prove useful as a potential alternative to computed tomography.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) has been shown to be a promising technique for assessing lung lesions. However, DCE-MRI often suffers from motion artifacts and insufficient imaging speed. Therefore, highly accelerated free-breathing DCE-MRI is of clinical interest for lung exams. PURPOSE:To test the performance of rapid free-breathing DCE-MRI for simultaneous qualitative and quantitative assessment of pulmonary lesions using Golden-angle RAdial Sparse Parallel (GRASP) imaging. STUDY TYPE:Prospective. POPULATION:Twenty-six patients (17 males, mean age?=?55.1?±?14.4) with known pulmonary lesions. FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE:3T MR scanner; a prototype fat-saturated, T1 -weighted stack-of-stars golden-angle radial sequence for data acquisition and a Cartesian breath-hold volumetric-interpolated examination (BH-VIBE) sequence for comparison. ASSESSMENT:After a dual-mode GRASP reconstruction, one with 3-second temporal resolution (3s-GRASP) and the other with 15-second temporal resolution (15s-GRASP), all GRASP and BH-VIBE images were pooled together for blind assessment by two experienced radiologists, who independently scored the overall image quality, lesion delineation, overall artifact level, and diagnostic confidence of each case. Perfusion analysis was performed for the 3s-GRASP images using a Tofts model to generate the volume transfer coefficient (Ktrans ) and interstitial volume (Ve ). STATISTICAL TESTS:Nonparametric paired two-tailed Wilcoxon signed-rank test; Cohen's kappa; unpaired Student's t-test. RESULTS:15s-GRASP achieved comparable image quality with conventional BH-VIBE (P?>?0.05), except for the higher overall artifact level in the precontrast phase (P?=?0.018). The Ktrans and Ve in inflammation were higher than those in malignant lesions (Ktrans : 0.78?±?0.52?min-1 vs. 0.37?±?0.22?min-1 , P?=?0.020; Ve : 0.36?±?0.16 vs. 0.26?±?0.1, P?=?0.177). Also, the Ktrans and Ve in malignant lesions were also higher than those in benign lesions (Ktrans : 0.37?±?0.22?min-1 vs. 0.04?±?0.04?min-1 , P?=?0.001; Ve : 0.26?±?0.12 vs. 0.10?±?0.00, P?=?0.063). DATA CONCLUSION:This feasibility study demonstrated the performance of high spatiotemporal resolution free-breathing DCE-MRI of the lung using GRASP for qualitative and quantitative assessment of pulmonary lesions. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 1 J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2018;48:459-468.