Nishimura develops new acquisition and processing techniques for improved medical imaging.
medical imaging, magnetic resonance imaging
To create a B0 map and correct for off-resonance with minimal scan time increase for two-dimensional (2D) or 3D non-Cartesian acquisitions.Rewinding trajectories that bring the zeroth gradient moment to zero every repetition time (TR) were used to estimate the off-resonance with a center-out 3D cones trajectory, which required an increase in the minimum TR by 5%. The off-resonance estimation and correction was implemented using an algorithm based on binning and object-domain phase correction. B0 maps using BMART (B0 mapping using rewinding trajectories) were compared to maps obtained using separate scans with multiple echo time (TE) in a phantom and human brain.Excellent agreement between BMART and the multiple-TE method were observed, and images corrected with BMART were deblurred.BMART can correct for off-resonance without requiring an additional scan, and can be easily applied to center-out or projection trajectories (2D or 3D). Magn Reson Med, 2016. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.26391
View details for PubMedID 27555219
To develop a robust motion estimation method for free-breathing body MRI using dense coil arrays.Self-navigating pulse sequences can measure subject motion without using external motion monitoring devices. With dense coil arrays, individual coil elements can provide localized motion estimates. An averaged motion estimate over all coils is often used for motion compensation. However, this motion estimate may not accurately represent the dominant motion within the imaging volume. In this work, a coil clustering method is proposed to automatically determine the dominant motion for dense coil arrays. The feasibility of the proposed method is investigated in free-breathing abdominal MRI and cardiac MRI, and compared with manual motion estimate selection for respiratory motion estimation and electrocardiography for cardiac motion estimation.Automated motion estimation achieved similar respiratory motion estimation compared to manual selection (averaged correlation coefficient 0.989 and 0.988 for abdominal MRI and cardiac MRI, respectively), and accurate cardiac triggering compared to electrocardiography (averaged temporal variability 17.5 ms).The proposed method can provide accurate automated motion estimation for body MRI using dense coil arrays. It can enable self-navigated free-breathing abdominal and cardiac MRI without the need for external motion monitoring devices. Magn Reson Med 76:197-205, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25858
View details for PubMedID 26220204
To develop a method for acquiring whole-heart 3D image-based navigators (iNAVs) with isotropic resolution for tracking and correction of localized motion in coronary magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA).To monitor motion in all regions of the heart during a free-breathing scan, a variable-density cones trajectory was designed to collect a 3D iNAV every heartbeat in 176 ms with 4.4 mm isotropic spatial resolution. The undersampled 3D iNAV data were reconstructed with efficient self-consistent parallel imaging reconstruction (ESPIRiT). 3D translational and nonrigid motion-correction methods using 3D iNAVs were compared to previous translational and nonrigid methods using 2D iNAVs.Five subjects were scanned with a 3D cones CMRA sequence, accompanied by both 2D and 3D iNAVs. The quality of the right and left anterior descending coronary arteries was assessed on 2D and 3D iNAV-based motion-corrected images using a vessel sharpness metric and qualitative reader scoring. This assessment showed that nonrigid motion correction based on 3D iNAVs produced results that were noninferior to correction based on 2D iNAVs.The ability to acquire isotropic-resolution 3D iNAVs every heartbeat during a CMRA scan was demonstrated. Such iNAVs enabled direct measurement of localized motion for nonrigid motion correction in free-breathing whole-heart CMRA. Magn Reson Med, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.26269
View details for PubMedID 27174590
To develop a retrospective nonrigid motion-correction method based on 3D image-based navigators (iNAVs) for free-breathing whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).The proposed method detects global rigid-body motion and localized nonrigid motion from 3D iNAVs and compensates them with an autofocusing algorithm. To model the global motion, 3D rotation and translation are estimated from the 3D iNAVs. Two sets of localized nonrigid motions are obtained from deformation fields between 3D iNAVs and reconstructed binned images, respectively. A bank of motion-corrected images is generated and the final image is assembled pixel-by-pixel by selecting the best focused pixel from this bank. In vivo studies with six healthy volunteers were conducted to compare the performance of the proposed method with 3D translational motion correction and no correction.In vivo studies showed that compared to no correction, 3D translational motion correction and the proposed method increased the vessel sharpness by 13% ± 13% and 19% ± 16%, respectively. Out of 90 vessel segments, 75 segments showed improvement with the proposed method compared to 3D translational correction.We have developed a nonrigid motion-correction method based on 3D iNAVs and an autofocusing algorithm that improves the vessel sharpness of free-breathing whole-heart coronary MRA. Magn Reson Med, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.26273
View details for PubMedID 27174673
Accurate measurement of the nonuniform transmit radiofrequency field is necessary for magnetic resonance imaging applications. The radiofrequency field excitation amplitude (B1 ) is often obtained by acquiring a B1 map. We modify the B1 estimation using adiabatic refocusing (BEAR) method to extend its range to lower B1 magnitudes.The BEAR method is a phase-based B1 mapping method, wherein hyperbolic secant pulses induce a phase sensitivity to B1 . The measurable B1 range is limited due to the adiabatic threshold of the pulses. We redesign the method to use flattened hyperbolic secant pulses, which have lower adiabatic thresholds. We optimize the flattened hyperbolic secant parameters to minimize phase sensitivity to frequency variations.We validate the performance of the new method via simulation and in vivo at 3T, and show that for n≤8, accurate B1 maps can be acquired using reduced nominal peak B1 values.The adiabatic threshold for the BEAR method is reduced with flattened hyperbolic secant pulses, which are optimized for accurate phase-to-B1 mapping over a frequency range, and allow for lower nominal B1 values. At 3T, the nominal B1 is decreased by 52% and the sensitivity to B1 is increased by a factor of 3.8. This can improve the method's applicability for measurement of low B1 . Magn Reson Med 75:1262-1268, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25711
View details for Web of Science ID 000370593700032
View details for PubMedID 25846905
We propose a method to acquire B1 distribution plots by encoding in B1 instead of image space. Using this method, B1 data is acquired in a different way from traditional spatial B1 mapping, and allows for quick measurement of high dynamic range B1 data.To encode in B1, we acquire multiple projections of a slice, each along the same direction, but using a different phase sensitivity to B1. Using a convex optimization formulation, we reconstruct histograms of the B1 distribution estimates of the slice.We verify in vivo B1 distribution measurements by comparing measured distributions to distributions calculated from reference spatial B1 maps using the Earth Mover's Distance. Phantom measurements using a surface coil show that for increased spatial B1 variations, measured B1 distributions using the proposed method more accurately estimate the distribution than a low-resolution spatial B1 map, resulting in a 37% Earth Mover's Distance decrease while using fewer measurements.We propose and validate the performance of a method to acquire B1 distribution information directly without acquiring a spatial B1 map. The method may provide faster estimates of a B1 field for applications that do not require spatial B1 localization, such as the transmit gain calibration of the scanner, particularly for high dynamic B1 ranges. Magn Reson Med 77:229-236, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.26114
View details for PubMedID 26778689
To develop a technique for high-resolution diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and to compare it with standard DWI methods.Multiple in-plane bands of magnetization were simultaneously excited by identically phase modulating each subpulse of a two-dimensional (2D) RF pulse. Several excitations with the same multiband pattern progressively shifted in the phase-encode direction were used to cover the prescribed field of view (FOV). The phase-encoded FOV was limited to the width of a single band to reduce off-resonance-induced distortion and blurring. Parallel imaging (PI) techniques were used to resolve aliasing from the other bands and to combine the different excitations. Following validation in phantoms and healthy volunteers, a preliminary study in breast cancer patients (N=14) was performed to compare the proposed method to conventional DWI with PI and to reduced-FOV DWI.The proposed method gave high-resolution diffusion-weighted images with minimal artifacts at the band intersections. Compared to PI alone, higher phase-encoded FOV-reduction factors and reduced noise amplification were obtained, which translated to higher resolution images than conventional (non-multiband) DWI. The same resolution and image quality achievable over targeted regions using existing reduced-FOV methods was obtained, but the proposed method also enables complete bilateral coverage.We developed an in-plane multiband technique for high-resolution DWI and compared its performance with other standard DWI methods. Magn Reson Med 77:209-220, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.26110
View details for PubMedID 26778549
To improve the spatial/temporal resolution of whole-heart coronary MR angiography by developing a variable-density (VD) 3D cones acquisition suitable for image reconstruction with parallel imaging and compressed sensing techniques.A VD 3D cones trajectory design incorporates both radial and spiral trajectory undersampling techniques to achieve higher resolution. This design is used to generate a VD 3D cones trajectory with 0.8 mm/66 ms isotropic spatial/temporal resolution, using a similar number of readouts as our previous fully sampled cones trajectory (1.2 mm/100 ms). Scans of volunteers and patients are performed to evaluate the performance of the VD trajectory, using non-Cartesian L1 -ESPIRiT for high-resolution image reconstruction.With gridding reconstruction, the high-resolution scans experience an expected drop in signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios, but with L1 -ESPIRiT, the apparent noise is substantially reduced. Compared with 1.2 mm images, in each volunteer, the L1 -ESPIRiT 0.8 mm images exhibit higher vessel sharpness values in the right and left anterior descending arteries.Coronary MR angiography with isotropic submillimeter spatial resolution and high temporal resolution can be performed with VD 3D cones to improve the depiction of coronary arteries. Magn Reson Med 74:614-621, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25803
View details for PubMedID 26172829
To develop a new sequence for non-contrast-enhanced peripheral angiography using a sliding interleaved cylinder (SLINCYL) acquisition.A venous saturation pulse was incorporated into a three-dimensional magnetization-prepared balanced steady-state free precession sequence for non-contrast-enhanced peripheral angiography to improve artery-vein contrast. The SLINCYL acquisition, which consists of a series of overlapped thin slabs for volumetric coverage similar to the original sliding interleaved ky (SLINKY) acquisition, was used to evenly distribute the venous-suppression effects over the field of view. In addition, the thin-slab-scan nature of SLINCYL and the centric-ordered sampling geometry of its readout trajectory were exploited to implement efficient fluid-suppression and parallel imaging schemes. The sequence was tested in healthy subjects and a patient.Compared to a multiple overlapped thin slab acquisition, both SLINKY and SLINCYL suppressed the venetian blind artifacts and provided similar artery-vein contrast. However, SLINCYL achieved this with shorter scan times and less noticeable artifacts from k-space amplitude modulation than SLINKY. The fluid-suppression and parallel imaging schemes were also validated. A patient study using the SLINCYL-based sequence well identified stenoses at the superficial femoral arteries, which were also confirmed with digital subtraction angiography.Non-contrast-enhanced angiography using SLINCYL can provide angiograms with improved artery-vein contrast in the lower extremities. Magn Reson Med 74:727-738, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25452
View details for PubMedID 25203505
To develop a self-gated alternating repetition time balanced steady-state free precession (ATR-SSFP) pulse sequence for fat-suppressed cardiac cine imaging.Cardiac gating is computed retrospectively using acquired magnetic resonance self-gating data, enabling cine imaging without the need for electrocardiogram (ECG) gating. Modification of the slice-select rephasing gradients of an ATR-SSFP sequence enables the acquisition of a one-dimensional self-gating readout during the unused short repetition time (TR). Self-gating readouts are acquired during every TR of segmented, breath-held cardiac scans. A template-matching algorithm is designed to compute cardiac trigger points from the self-gating signals, and these trigger points are used for retrospective cine reconstruction. The proposed approach is compared with ECG-gated ATR-SSFP and balanced steady-state free precession in 10 volunteers and five patients.The difference of ECG and self-gating trigger times has a variability of 13 ± 11 ms (mean ± SD). Qualitative reviewer scoring and ranking indicate no statistically significant differences (P > 0.05) between self-gated and ECG-gated ATR-SSFP images. Quantitative blood-myocardial border sharpness is not significantly different among self-gated ATR-SSFP ( 0.61±0.15 mm -1), ECG-gated ATR-SSFP ( 0.61±0.15 mm -1), or conventional ECG-gated balanced steady-state free precession cine MRI ( 0.59±0.15 mm -1).The proposed self-gated ATR-SSFP sequence enables fat-suppressed cardiac cine imaging at 1.5 T without the need for ECG gating and without decreasing the imaging efficiency of ATR-SSFP. Magn Reson Med, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25291
View details for Web of Science ID 000353240600008
View details for PubMedID 24806049
To improve the clinical utility of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) by extending the slice coverage of a high-resolution reduced field-of-view technique.Challenges in achieving high spatial resolution restrict the use of DWI in assessment of small structures such as the spinal cord. A reduced field-of-view method with 2D echo-planar radiofrequency (RF) excitation was recently proposed for high-resolution DWI. Here, a Hadamard slice-encoding scheme is proposed to double the slice coverage by exploiting the periodicity of the 2D echo-planar RF excitation profile.A 2D echo-planar RF pulse and matching multiband refocusing RF pulses were designed using the Shinnar-Le Roux algorithm to reduce band interference, and variable-rate selective excitation to shorten the pulse durations. Hadamard-encoded images were resolved through a phase-preserving image reconstruction. The performance of the method was evaluated via simulations, phantom experiments, and in vivo high-resolution axial DWI of spinal cord.The proposed scheme successfully extends the slice coverage, while preserving the sharp excitation profile and the reliable fat suppression of the original method. For in vivo axial DWI of the spinal cord, an in-plane resolution of 0.7 × 0.7 mm(2) was achieved with 16 slices.The proposed Hadamard slice-encoding scheme doubles the slice coverage of the 2D echo-planar RF reduced field-of-view method without any scan-time penalty.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25044
View details for PubMedID 24265013
Accurate measurement of the nonuniform transmit radiofrequency field is useful for many applications in magnetic resonance imaging, such as calibrating the scanner transmit system, evaluating coil performance, and improving image quality and quantitation. The radiofrequency field excitation amplitude (B(1)) is often obtained by acquiring a B(1) map. In this study, a new B(1) mapping method is proposed.The use of two adiabatic full passage pulses with different magnitudes applied as successive refocusing pulses results in a linear relationship between phase and B(1) field strength that is insensitive to the repetition time, off-resonance effects, T(1), and T(2). Using this method, B(1) mapping can be localized to a slice or three-dimensional (3D) volume, with a spin-echo acquisition that is appropriate for fast projection measurements.This new method is shown to agree well with the Bloch-Siegert B(1) mapping method for both phantom and in vivo B(1) measurements at 1.5T, 3T, and 7T. The method's ability to acquire accurate projection B(1) measurements is also demonstrated.This method's high dynamic range, ability to make fast projection measurements, and linear quantitative relationship between phase and B1 make it an ideal candidate for use in robust transmitter gain calibration.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.25049
View details for PubMedID 24272817
The balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) pulse sequence has shown to be of great interest due to its high signal-to-noise ratio efficiency. However, bSSFP images often suffer from banding artifacts due to off-resonance effects, which we aim to minimize in this article.We present a general and fast two-step algorithm for 1) estimating the unknowns in the bSSFP signal model from multiple phase-cycled acquisitions, and 2) reconstructing band-free images. The first step, linearization for off-resonance estimation (LORE), solves the nonlinear problem approximately by a robust linear approach. The second step applies a Gauss-Newton algorithm, initialized by LORE, to minimize the nonlinear least squares criterion. We name the full algorithm LORE-GN.We derive the Cramér-Rao bound, a theoretical lower bound of the variance for any unbiased estimator, and show that LORE-GN is statistically efficient. Furthermore, we show that simultaneous estimation of T1 and T2 from phase-cycled bSSFP is difficult, since the Cramér-Rao bound is high at common signal-to-noise ratio. Using simulated, phantom, and in vivo data, we illustrate the band-reduction capabilities of LORE-GN compared to other techniques, such as sum-of-squares.Using LORE-GN we can successfully minimize banding artifacts in bSSFP. Magn Reson Med 72:880-892, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24986
View details for Web of Science ID 000340552700033
View details for PubMedID 24166591
Recent advancements in the field of hyperpolarized (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) have yielded powerful techniques capable of real-time analysis of metabolic pathways. These non-invasive methods have increasingly shown application in impacting disease diagnosis and have further been employed in mechanistic studies of disease onset and progression. Our goals were to investigate branched-chain aminotransferase (BCAT) activity in prostate cancer with a novel molecular probe, hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]-2-ketoisocaproate ([1-(13)C]-KIC), and explore the potential of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism to serve as a biomarker. Using traditional spectrophotometric assays, BCAT enzymatic activities were determined in vitro for various sources of prostate cancer (human, transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) mouse and human cell lines). These preliminary studies indicated that low levels of BCAT activity were present in all models of prostate cancer but enzymatic levels are altered significantly in prostate cancer relative to healthy tissue. The MR spectroscopic studies were conducted with two cellular models (PC-3 and DU-145) that exhibited levels of BCAA metabolism comparable to the human disease state. Hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]-KIC was administered to prostate cancer cell lines, and the conversion of [1-(13)C]-KIC to the metabolic product, [1-(13)C]-leucine ([1-(13)C]-Leu), could be monitored via hyperpolarized (13)C MRS.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2014.04.015
View details for Web of Science ID 000339531900001
View details for PubMedID 24907854
To implement a nonrigid autofocus motion correction technique to improve respiratory motion correction of free-breathing whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography acquisitions using an image-navigated 3D cones sequence.2D image navigators acquired every heartbeat are used to measure superior-inferior, anterior-posterior, and right-left translation of the heart during a free-breathing coronary magnetic resonance angiography scan using a 3D cones readout trajectory. Various tidal respiratory motion patterns are modeled by independently scaling the three measured displacement trajectories. These scaled motion trajectories are used for 3D translational compensation of the acquired data, and a bank of motion-compensated images is reconstructed. From this bank, a gradient entropy focusing metric is used to generate a nonrigid motion-corrected image on a pixel-by-pixel basis. The performance of the autofocus motion correction technique is compared with rigid-body translational correction and no correction in phantom, volunteer, and patient studies.Nonrigid autofocus motion correction yields improved image quality compared to rigid-body-corrected images and uncorrected images. Quantitative vessel sharpness measurements indicate superiority of the proposed technique in 14 out of 15 coronary segments from three patient and two volunteer studies.The proposed technique corrects nonrigid motion artifacts in free-breathing 3D cones acquisitions, improving image quality compared to rigid-body motion correction. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24924
View details for Web of Science ID 000339714900006
To develop new magnetization-prepared imaging schemes based on a three-dimensional (3D) concentric cylinders trajectory.The 3D concentric cylinders trajectory, which is robust to off-resonance effects and timing delays while requiring fewer excitations than a comparable 3D Cartesian (3DFT) sequence, is used as the readout for magnetization-prepared sequences exploiting its inherently centric-ordered structure. Two applications: (i) T1 -weighted brain imaging with an inversion-recovery-prepared radiofrequency-spoiled gradient-echo (IR-SPGR) sequence, (ii) non-contrast-enhanced (NCE) peripheral angiography with a magnetization-prepared balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) sequence are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. For peripheral angiography, the scan efficiency is further improved by interleaving different preparations at different rates and by carefully designing the sampling geometry for an efficient parallel imaging method.In vivo brain scans with an IR-SPGR sequence and lower extremity scans with a magnetization-prepared bSSFP sequence for NCE peripheral angiography both demonstrate that the proposed sequences with concentric cylinders effectively capture the transient magnetization-prepared contrast with faster scan times than a corresponding 3DFT sequence. The application of peripheral angiography also shows the feasibility of the proposed interleaving schemes and parallel imaging method.The 3D concentric cylinders trajectory is a robust and efficient readout that is well-suited for magnetization-prepared imaging. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24823
View details for Web of Science ID 000334844900007
View details for PubMedID 23818212
PURPOSE: To develop a new velocity-selective (VS) excitation pulse sequence which is robust to field inhomogeneity, and demonstrate its application to non-contrast-enhanced peripheral MR angiography (MRA). METHODS: The off-resonance-robust VS saturation pulse is designed by incorporating 180° refocusing pulses into the k-space-based reference design and tailoring sequence parameters in a velocity region of interest. The VS saturation pulse is used as magnetization preparation for non-contrast-enhanced peripheral MRA to suppress background tissues but not arterial blood based on their velocities. Non-contrast-enhanced peripheral MRA using the proposed VS preparation was tested in healthy volunteers and a patient with arterial stenosis. RESULTS: Calf angiograms obtained using the new VS preparation show more uniform background suppression than the reference VS preparation, as demonstrated by larger mean values and smaller standard deviations of artery-to-vein and artery-to-muscle contrast-to-noise ratios (71.0 ± 11.4 and 75.3 ± 12.1 versus 61.7 ± 22.7 and 58.5 ± 27.8). Two-station peripheral MRA using the new VS preparation identifies stenosis of the femoral and popliteal arteries in the patient, as validated by digital subtraction angiography. CONCLUSION: Non-contrast-enhanced MRA using the new VS magnetization preparation can reliably provide high angiographic contrast in the lower extremities with significantly improved immunity to field inhomogeneity. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24561
View details for Web of Science ID 000326115000006
View details for PubMedID 23192893
Noncontrast-enhanced renal angiography techniques based on balanced steady-state free precession avoid external contrast agents, take advantage of high inherent blood signal from the $T_2/T_1$ contrast mechanism, and have short steady-state free precession acquisition times. However, background suppression is limited; inflow times are inflexible; labeling region is difficult to define when tagging arterial flow; and scan times are long. To overcome these limitations, we propose the use of multiple inversion recovery preparatory pulses combined with alternating pulse repetition time balanced steady-state free precession to produce renal angiograms. Multiple inversion recovery uses selective spatial saturation followed by four nonselective inversion recovery pulses to concurrently null a wide range of background $T_1$ species while allowing for adjustable inflow times; alternating pulse repetition time steady-state free precession maintains vessel contrast and provides added fat suppression. The high level of suppression enables imaging in three-dimensional as well as projective two-dimensional formats, the latter of which has a scan time as short as one heartbeat. In vivo studies at 1.5 T demonstrate the superior vessel contrast of this technique. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24480
View details for Web of Science ID 000322128300025
View details for PubMedID 23172805
Non-contrast-enhanced MR angiography is a promising alternative to the established contrast-enhanced approach as it reduces patient discomfort and examination costs and avoids the risk of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. Inflow-sensitive slab-selective inversion recovery imaging has been used with great promise, particularly for abdominal applications, but has limited craniocaudal coverage due to inflow time constraints. In this work, a new non-contrast-enhanced MR angiography method using velocity-selective inversion preparation is developed and applied to renal and abdominal angiography. Based on the excitation k-space formalism and Shinnar-Le-Roux transform, a velocity-selective excitation pulse is designed that inverts stationary tissues and venous blood while preserving inferiorly flowing arterial blood. As the magnetization of the arterial blood in the abdominal aorta and iliac arteries is well preserved during the magnetization preparation, artery visualization over a large abdominal field of view is achievable with an inversion delay time that is chosen for optimal background suppression. Healthy volunteer tests demonstrate that the proposed method significantly increases the extent of visible arteries compared with the slab-selective approach, covering renal arteries through iliac arteries over a craniocaudal field of view of 340 mm.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24356
View details for Web of Science ID 000318026400009
Noninvasive visualization of the coronary arteries in vivo is one of the most important goals in cardiovascular imaging. Compared to other paradigms for coronary MR angiography, a free-breathing three-dimensional whole-heart iso-resolution approach simplifies prescription effort, requires less patient cooperation, reduces overall exam time, and supports retrospective reformats at arbitrary planes. However, this approach requires a long continuous acquisition and must account for respiratory and cardiac motion throughout the scan. In this work, a new free-breathing coronary MR angiography technique that reduces scan time and improves robustness to motion is developed. Data acquisition is accomplished using a three-dimensional cones non-Cartesian trajectory, which can reduce the number of readouts 3-fold or more compared to conventional three-dimensional Cartesian encoding and provides greater robustness to motion/flow effects. To further enhance robustness to motion, two-dimensional navigator images are acquired to directly track respiration-induced displacement of the heart and enable retrospective compensation of all acquired data (none discarded) for image reconstruction. In addition, multiple cardiac phases are imaged to support retrospective selection of the best phase(s) for visualizing each coronary segment. Experimental results demonstrate that whole-heart coronary angiograms can be obtained rapidly and robustly with this proposed technique.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24346
View details for Web of Science ID 000316629300020
View details for PubMedID 22648856
Three-dimensional cardiac magnetic resonance perfusion imaging is promising for the precise sizing of defects and for providing high perfusion contrast, but remains an experimental approach primarily due to the need for large-dimensional encoding, which, for traditional 3DFT imaging, requires either impractical acceleration factors or sacrifices in spatial resolution. We demonstrated the feasibility of rapid three-dimensional cardiac magnetic resonance perfusion imaging using a stack-of-spirals acquisition accelerated by non-Cartesian k-t SENSE, which enables entire myocardial coverage with an in-plane resolution of 2.4 mm. The optimal undersampling pattern was used to achieve the largest separation between true and aliased signals, which is a prerequisite for k-t SENSE reconstruction. Flip angle and saturation recovery time were chosen to ensure negligible magnetization variation during the transient data acquisition. We compared the proposed three-dimensional perfusion method with the standard 2DFT approach by consecutively acquiring both data during each R-R interval in cardiac patients. The mean and standard deviation of the correlation coefficients between time intensity curves of three-dimensional versus 2DFT were 0.94 and 0.06 across seven subjects. The linear correlation between the two sets of upslope values was significant (r = 0.78, P < 0.05).
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.24303
View details for Web of Science ID 000315331300026
View details for PubMedID 22556062
DWI has the potential to improve the detection and evaluation of spine and spinal cord pathologies. This study assessed whether a recently described method (rFOV DWI) adds diagnostic value in clinical patients.Consecutive patients undergoing clinically indicated cervical and/or thoracic spine imaging received standard anatomic sequences supplemented with sagittal rFOV DWI by using a b-value of 500 s/mm(2). Two neuroradiologists blinded to clinical history evaluated the standard anatomic sequences only for pathology and provided their level of confidence in their diagnosis. These readers then rescored the examinations after reviewing the rFOV DWI study and indicated whether this sequence altered findings or confidence levels.Two hundred twenty-three patients were included in this study. One hundred eighty patient scans (80.7%) demonstrated at least 1 pathologic finding. Interobserver agreement for identifying pathology (? = 0.77) and in assessing the added value of the rFOV DWI sequence (? = 0.77) was high. In pathologic cases, the rFOV DWI sequence added clinical utility in 33% of cases (P < .00001, Fisher exact test). The rFOV DWI sequence was found to be helpful in the evaluation of acute infarction, demyelination, infection, neoplasm, and intradural and epidural collections (P < .001, ?(2) test) and provided a significant increase in clinical confidence in the evaluation of 11 of the 15 pathologic subtypes assessed (P < .05, 1-sided paired Wilcoxon test).rFOV diffusion-weighted imaging of the cervical and thoracic spine is feasible in a clinical population and increases clinical confidence in the diagnosis of numerous common spinal pathologies.
View details for DOI 10.3174/ajnr.A3134
View details for Web of Science ID 000311711400006
View details for PubMedID 22555576
Although human embryonic stem cell (hESC) hold therapeutic potential, teratoma formation has deterred clinical translation. Manganese (Mn(2+)) enters metabolically active cells through voltage-gated calcium channels and subsequently, induces T(1) shortening. We hypothesized that serial manganese-enhanced MRI would have theranostic effect to assess hESC survival, teratoma formation, and hESC-derived teratoma reduction through intracellular accumulation of Mn(2+). Firefly luciferase transduced hESCs (hESC-Lucs) were transplanted into severe combined immunodeficient mouse hindlimbs to form teratoma. The chemotherapy group was injected with MnCl(2) intraperitoneally three times a week. The control group was given MnCl(2) only prior to manganese-enhanced MRI. Longitudinal evaluation by manganese-enhanced MRI and bioluminescence imaging was performed. The chemotherapy group showed significant reduction in the teratoma volume and luciferase activity at weeks 6 and 8. Histology revealed increased proportion of dead cells and caspase 3 positive cells in the chemotherapy group. Systemic administration of MnCl(2) enabled simultaneous monitoring and elimination of hESC-derived teratoma cells by higher intracellular accumulation of Mn(2+).
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.23262
View details for Web of Science ID 000306318900032
View details for PubMedID 22190225
Fast imaging trajectories are used in MRI to speed up the acquisition process, but imperfections in the gradient system create artifacts in the reconstructed images. Artifacts result from the deviation between k-space trajectories achieved on the scanner and their original prescription. Measuring or approximating actual k-space trajectories with predetermined gradient timing delays reduces the artifacts, but are generally based on a specific trajectory and scan orientation. A single linear time-invariant characterization of the gradient system provides a method to predict k-space trajectories scanned in arbitrary orientations through convolution. This is done efficiently, by comparing the Fourier transforms of the input and measured waveforms of a single high-bandwidth test gradient waveform. This new method is tested for spiral, interleaved echo-planar, and three-dimensional cones imaging, demonstrating its ability to reduce reconstructed image artifacts for various k-space trajectories.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.23217
View details for Web of Science ID 000305119100012
View details for PubMedID 22189904
To evaluate two methods of scanning and tissue processing to achieve accurate magnetic resonance (MR)-histologic correlation in human prostate specimens.Two prostates had acrylic paint markers injected to define the plane of imaging and serve as internal fiducials. Each was placed on a polycarbonate plane-finder device (PFD), which was adjusted to align the imaging and cutting planes. Three prostates were aligned by use of a plane finder key (PFK), a polycarbonate plate that locks the specimen in a cylindrical carrier. Markers were injected for registration analysis. Prostates were imaged, then sectioned. Imaging software was used to create registration maps of the MR and histology images. Measurements between control points were made and compared.Accurate correlation was achieved between MR and histologic images. The mean displacement (MD) between the corresponding registration points using the PFD technique ranged from 1.11-1.38 mm for each section. The MD for all sections was 1.24 mm. The MD using the PFK technique ranged from 0.79-1.01 mm for each section, and the MD across all sections for the PFK was 0.92 mm.We describe two methods that can achieve accurate, reproducible correlation between MR imaging and histologic sections in human prostatectomy specimens.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.23614
View details for Web of Science ID 000305185700021
View details for PubMedID 22359365
Small perturbations of steady-state sequence parameters can induce very large spectral profile deviations that are localized to specific off-resonant frequencies, denoted critical frequencies. Although, a small number of studies have previously considered the use of these highly specific modulations for MR angiography and elastography, many potential applications still remain to be explored. An analysis of this phenomenon using a linear systems technique and a geometric magnetization trajectory technique shows that the critical frequencies correspond to singularities in the steady-state signal equation. An interleaved acquisition combined with a complex difference technique yields a spectral profile containing sharp peaks interleaved with wide stopbands, while a complex sum technique yields a spectral profile similar to that of balanced steady-state free precession. Simulations and phantom experiments are used to demonstrate a novel application of this technique for positive-contrast imaging of superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles. The technique is shown to yield images with high levels of positive contrast and good water and fat background suppression. The technique can also simultaneously yield images with contrast similar to balanced steady-state free precession.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.23156
View details for Web of Science ID 000304086000019
View details for PubMedID 22025426
The aim of this study was to evaluate differences in tumor depiction and measured tumor apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) with the use of a high-resolution diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence, compared to a standard DW MRI sequence, in patients with locally advanced breast cancer.Patients with locally advanced breast cancer were scanned with a reduced-field of view (rFOV) DW MRI sequence (high resolution) and a standard-field of view diffusion sequence (standard resolution), and differences between the two sequences were evaluated quantitatively (by calculating tumor ADC distribution parameters) and qualitatively (by radiologists' visual assessments of images).Although the mean tumor ADC for both sequences was similar, differences were found in other parameters, including the 12.5th percentile (P = .042) and minimum tumor ADC (P = .003). Qualitatively, visualization of tumor morphologic detail, heterogeneity, and conspicuity was improved with rFOV DW MRI, and image quality was higher.Differences in ADC distribution parameters and qualitative image features suggest that the sequences differ in their ability to capture tumor heterogeneity. These differences are not apparent when the mean is used to evaluate tumor ADC. In particular, differences found in lower ADC values are compatible with reduced partial voluming in rFOV DW MRI, suggesting that rFOV DW MRI may be valuable in imaging the lower ADCs expected to correspond to viable tumor in most invasive breast cancers.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.acra.2011.11.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000303075700004
View details for PubMedID 22197382
The article "A k-space analysis of small-tip-angle excitation" introduced a spatial frequency interpretation of the effect of RF excitation pulses. This introduction describes where the initial ideas for this paper came from, and traces out some of the applications that have been developed using this perspective.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmr.2011.08.008
View details for PubMedID 21890389
View details for Web of Science ID 000299738703155
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have shown the potential to restore cardiac function after myocardial injury. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO) have been widely employed to label ESCs for cellular MRI. However, nonspecific intracellular accumulation of SPIO limits long-term in vivo assessment of the transplanted cells. To overcome this limitation, a novel reporter gene (RG) has been developed to express antigens on the ESC surface. By employing SPIO-conjugated monoclonal antibody against these antigens (SPIO-MAb), the viability of transplanted ESCs can be detected in vivo. This study aims to develop a new molecular MRI method to assess in vivo ESC viability, proliferation, and teratoma formation. The RG is designed to express 2 antigens (hemagglutinin A and myc) and luciferase on the ESC surface. The two antigens serve as the molecular targets for SPIO-MAb. The human and mouse ESCs were transduced with the RG (ESC-RGs) and transplanted into the peri-infarct area using the murine myocardial injury model. In vivo MRI was performed following serial intravenous administration of SPIO-MAb. Significant hypointense signal was generated from the viable and proliferating ESCs and subsequent teratoma. This novel molecular MRI technique enabled in vivo detection of early ESC-derived teratoma formation in the injured murine myocardium.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22929
View details for Web of Science ID 000296389800019
View details for PubMedID 21604295
Accurate depiction of the vessels of the lower leg, foot or hand benefits from suppression of bright MR signal from lipid (such as bone marrow) and long-T1 fluid (such as synovial fluid and edema). Signal independence of blood flow velocities, good arterial/muscle contrast and arterial/venous separation are also desirable. The high SNR, short scan times and flow properties of balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) make it an excellent candidate for flow-independent angiography. In this work, a new magnetization-prepared 3D SSFP sequence for flow-independent peripheral angiography is presented. The technique combines a number of component techniques (phase-sensitive fat detection, inversion recovery, T2-preparation and square-spiral phase-encode ordering) to achieve high-contrast peripheral angiograms at only a modest scan time penalty over simple 3D SSFP. The technique is described in detail, a parameter optimization performed and preliminary results presented achieving high contrast and 1-mm isotropic resolution in a normal foot.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2011.04.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000295195900011
View details for PubMedID 21705166
Cell death by apoptosis is critical in myocardial diseases, and noninvasive detection of early, reversible apoptosis might be useful clinically. Exogenous Annexin-V (ANX) protein binds membrane phosphatidylserine, which is externalized in early apoptosis. A molecular MRI probe was constructed with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) conjugated to recombinant human ANX (ANX-SPIO). Apoptosis was induced with doxorubicin, a cardiotoxic cancer drug, in culture in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, cardiac fibroblasts, and mesenchymal stem cells, and in vivo in the mouse heart. ANX-SPIO was validated using T2*-weighted 3T MRI. ANX-SPIO produced T2* signal loss, reflecting iron content, that correlated highly with independent apoptosis markers; bound with high affinity to apoptotic myocytes by competition assay (Ki 69 nM); detected apoptosis in culture much earlier than did TUNEL stain; and revealed fibroblast resistance to apoptosis. With apoptosis in vivo, ANX-SPIO produced diffuse myocardial T2* signal loss that correlated with increased iron stain and caspase activity. Treatment with an alpha-1-adrenergic agonist in vivo reversed apoptosis and eliminated the ANX-SPIO MRI signal. It is concluded that cardiac MRI of ANX-SPIO detects early, nonischemic cardiac apoptosis in culture and in vivo, and can identify reversibly injured cardiac cells in diseased hearts, when treatment is still possible.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22876
View details for Web of Science ID 000295356500027
View details for PubMedID 21360750
Motion--both rigid-body and nonrigid--is the main limitation to in vivo, high-resolution larynx imaging. In this work, a new real-time motion compensation algorithm is introduced. Navigator data are processed in real time to compute the displacement information, and projections are corrected using phase modulation in k-space. Upon automatic feedback, the system immediately reacquires the data most heavily corrupted by nonrigid motion, i.e., the data whose corresponding projections could not be properly corrected. This algorithm overcomes the shortcomings of the so-called diminishing variance algorithm by combining it with navigator-based rigid-body motion correction. Because rigid-body motion correction is performed first, continual bulk motion no longer impedes nor prevents the convergence of the algorithm. Phantom experiments show that the algorithm properly corrects for translations and reacquires data corrupted by nonrigid motion. Larynx imaging was performed on healthy volunteers, and substantial reduction of motion artifacts caused by bulk shift, swallowing, and coughing was achieved.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22773
View details for Web of Science ID 000292425100019
View details for PubMedID 21695722
DWI of the spinal cord is challenging because of its small size and artifacts associated with the most commonly used clinical imaging method, SS-EPI. We evaluated the performance of rFOV spinal cord DWI and compared it with the routine fFOV SS-EPI in a clinical population.Thirty-six clinical patients underwent 1.5T MR imaging examination that included rFOV SS-EPI DWI of the cervical spinal cord as well as 2 comparison diffusion sequences: fFOV SS-EPI DWI normalized for either image readout time (low-resolution fFOV) or spatial resolution (high-resolution fFOV). ADC maps were created and compared between the methods by using single-factor analysis of variance. Two neuroradiologists blinded to sequence type rated the 3 DWI methods, based on susceptibility artifacts, perceived spatial resolution, signal intensity-to-noise ratio, anatomic detail, and clinical utility.ADC values for the rFOV and both fFOV sequences were not statistically different (rFOV: 1.01 ± 0.18 × 10(-3) mm(2)/s; low-resolution fFOV: 1.12 ± 0.22 × 10(-3) mm(2)/s; high-resolution fFOV: 1.10 ± 0.21 × 10(-3) mm(2)/s; F = 2.747, P > .05). The neuroradiologist reviewers rated the rFOV diffusion images superior in terms of all assessed measures (P < 0.0001). Particular improvements were noted in patients with metal hardware, degenerative disease, or both.rFOV DWI of the spinal cord overcomes many of the problems associated with conventional fFOV SS-EPI and is feasible in a clinical population. From a clinical standpoint, images were deemed superior to those created by using standard fFOV methods.
View details for DOI 10.3174/ajnr.A2418
View details for Web of Science ID 000291117600006
View details for PubMedID 21454408
Magnetization-prepared acquisitions offer a trade-off between image contrast and scan efficiency for magnetic resonance imaging. Because the prepared signals gradually decay, the contrast can be improved by frequently repeating the preparation, which in turn significantly increases the scan time. A common solution is to perform the data collection progressing from low- to high-spatial-frequency samples following each preparation. Unfortunately, this leads to loss of spatial resolution, and thereby image blurring. In this work, a new technique is proposed that first corrects the signal decay in high-frequency data to mitigate the resolution loss and improve the image contrast without reducing the scan efficiency. The proposed technique then employs a sparsity-based nonlinear reconstruction to further improve the image quality. In addition to reducing the amplified high-frequency noise, this reconstruction extrapolates missing k-space samples in the case of undersampled compressed-sensing acquisitions. The technique is successfully demonstrated for noncontrast-enhanced flow-independent angiography of the lower extremities, an application that substantially benefits from both the signal compensation and the nonlinear reconstruction.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2011.2116123
View details for Web of Science ID 000290167500002
View details for PubMedID 21335307
To propose a new noncontrast-enhanced flow-independent angiography sequence based on balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) that produces reliable vessel contrast despite the reduced blood flow in the extremities.The proposed technique addresses a variety of factors that can compromise the exam success including insufficient background suppression, field inhomogeneity, and large volumetric coverage requirements. A bSSFP sequence yields reduced signal from venous blood when long repetition times are used. Complex-sum bSSFP acquisitions decrease the sensitivity to field inhomogeneity but retain phase information, so that data can be processed with the Iterative Decomposition of Water and Fat with Echo Asymmetry and Least-Squares Estimation (IDEAL) method for robust fat suppression. Meanwhile, frequent magnetization preparation coupled with parallel imaging reduces the muscle and long-T(1) fluid signals without compromising scan efficiency.In vivo flow-independent peripheral angiograms with reliable background suppression and high spatial resolution are produced. Comparisons with phase-sensitive bSSFP angiograms (that yield out-of-phase fat and water signals, and exploit this phase difference to suppress fat) demonstrate enhanced vessel depiction with the proposed technique due to reduced partial-volume effects and improved venous suppression.Magnetization-prepared complex-sum bSSFP with IDEAL fat/water separation can create reliable flow-independent angiographic contrast in the lower extremities.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.22479
View details for Web of Science ID 000288913200022
View details for PubMedID 21448960
Optimizing the diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) parameters (i.e., the b-value and the number of image averages) to the tissue of interest is essential for producing high-quality apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps. Previous investigation of this optimization was performed assuming Gaussian noise statistics for the ADC map, which is only valid for high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) imaging. In this work, the true statistics of the noise in ADC maps are derived, followed by an optimization of the DWI parameters as a function of the imaging SNR. Specifically, it is demonstrated that the optimum b-value is a monotonically increasing function of the imaging SNR, which converges to the optimum b-value from previously proposed approaches for high-SNR cases, while exhibiting a significant deviation from this asymptote for low-SNR situations. Incorporating the effects of T(2) weighting further increases the SNR dependence of the optimal parameters. The proposed optimization scheme is particularly important for high-resolution DWI, which intrinsically suffers from low SNR and therefore cannot afford the use of the conventional high b-values. Comparison scans were performed for high-resolution DWI of the spinal cord, demonstrating the improvements in the resulting images and the ADC maps achieved by this method.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2010.2084583
View details for Web of Science ID 000286931000022
View details for PubMedID 20934948
FeCo/graphitic-carbon nanocrystals (FeCo/GC) are biocompatible, high-relaxivity, multi-functional nanoparticles. Macrophages represent important cellular imaging targets for assessing vascular inflammation. We evaluated FeCo/GC for vascular macrophage uptake and imaging in vivo using fluorescence and MRI.Hyperlipidemic and diabetic mice underwent carotid ligation to produce a macrophage-rich vascular lesion. In situ and ex vivo fluorescence imaging were performed at 48 hours after intravenous injection of FeCo/GC conjugated to Cy5.5 (n?=?8, 8 nmol of Cy5.5/mouse). Significant fluorescence signal from FeCo/GC-Cy5.5 was present in the ligated left carotid arteries, but not in the control (non-ligated) right carotid arteries or sham-operated carotid arteries (p?=?0.03 for ligated vs. non-ligated). Serial in vivo 3T MRI was performed at 48 and 72 hours after intravenous FeCo/GC (n?=?6, 270 µg Fe/mouse). Significant T2* signal loss from FeCo/GC was seen in ligated left carotid arteries, not in non-ligated controls (p?=?0.03). Immunofluorescence staining showed colocalization of FeCo/GC and macrophages in ligated carotid arteries.FeCo/GC accumulates in vascular macrophages in vivo, allowing fluorescence and MR imaging. This multi-functional high-relaxivity nanoparticle platform provides a promising approach for cellular imaging of vascular inflammation.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0014523
View details for Web of Science ID 000286516500005
View details for PubMedID 21264237
Coronary wall cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is a promising noninvasive approach to assess subclinical atherosclerosis, but data are limited in subjects over 60 years old, who are at increased risk. The purpose of the study was to evaluate coronary wall CMR in an asymptomatic older cohort.Cross-sectional images of the proximal right coronary artery (RCA) were acquired using spiral black-blood coronary CMR (0.7 mm resolution) in 223 older, community-based patients without a history of cardiovascular disease (age 60-72 years old, 38% female). Coronary measurements (total vessel area, lumen area, wall area, and wall thickness) had small intra- and inter-observer variabilities (r = 0.93~0.99, all p < 0.0001), though one-third of these older subjects had suboptimal image quality. Increased coronary wall thickness correlated with increased coronary vessel area (p < 0.0001), consistent with positive remodeling. On multivariate analysis, type 2 diabetes was the only risk factor associated with increased coronary wall area and thickness (p = 0.03 and p = 0.007, respectively). Coronary wall CMR measures were also associated with coronary calcification (p = 0.01-0.03).Right coronary wall CMR in asymptomatic older subjects showed increased coronary atherosclerosis in subjects with type 2 diabetes as well as coronary calcification. Coronary wall CMR may contribute to the noninvasive assessment of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in older, at-risk patient groups.
View details for DOI 10.1186/1532-429X-12-75
View details for Web of Science ID 000286371000001
View details for PubMedID 21192815
In this article, a robust methodology for in vivo T(1) mapping is presented. The approach combines a gold standard scanning procedure with a novel fitting procedure. Fitting complex data to a five-parameter model ensures accuracy and precision of the T(1) estimation. A reduced-dimension nonlinear least squares method is proposed. This method turns the complicated multi-parameter minimization into a straightforward one-dimensional search. As the range of possible T(1) values is known, a global grid search can be used, ensuring that a global optimal solution is found. When only magnitude data are available, the algorithm is adapted to concurrently restore polarity. The performance of the new algorithm is demonstrated in simulations and phantom experiments. The new algorithm is as accurate and precise as the conventionally used Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm but much faster. This gain in speed makes the use of the five-parameter model viable. In addition, the new algorithm does not require initialization of the search parameters. Finally, the methodology is applied in vivo to conventional brain imaging and to skin imaging. T(1) values are estimated for white matter and gray matter at 1.5 T and for dermis, hypodermis, and muscle at 1.5 T, 3 T, and 7 T.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22497
View details for Web of Science ID 000282477100014
View details for PubMedID 20564597
Efficient acquisition strategies for magnetization-prepared imaging based on the three-dimensional (3D) stack-of-rings k-space trajectory are presented in this work. The 3D stack-of-rings can be acquired with centric ordering in all three dimensions for greater efficiency in capturing the desired contrast. In addition, the 3D stack-of-rings naturally supports spherical coverage in k-space for shorter scan times while achieving isotropic spatial resolution. While non-Cartesian trajectories generally suffer from greater sensitivity to system imperfections, the 3D stack-of-rings can enhance magnetization-prepared imaging with a high degree of robustness to timing delays and off-resonance effects. As demonstrated with phantom scans, timing errors and gradient delays only cause a bulk rotation of the 3D stack-of-rings reconstruction. Furthermore, each ring can be acquired with a time-efficient retracing design to resolve field inhomogeneities and enable fat/water separation. To demonstrate its effectiveness, the 3D stack-of-rings are considered for the case of inversion-recovery-prepared structural brain imaging. Experimental results show that the 3D stack-of-rings can achieve higher signal-to-noise ratio and higher contrast-to-noise ratio within a shorter scan time when compared to the standard inversion-recovery-prepared sequence based on 3D Cartesian encoding. The design principles used for this specific case of inversion-recovery-prepared brain imaging can be applied to other magnetization-prepared imaging applications.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22288
View details for Web of Science ID 000277098100009
View details for PubMedID 20432292
Partially parallel imaging with localized sensitivities is a fast parallel image reconstruction method for both Cartesian and non-Cartesian trajectories, but suffers from aliasing artifacts when there are deviations from the assumption of perfect localization. Such reconstructions would normally crop the individual coil images to remove the artifacts prior to combination. However, the sampling densities in variable-density k-space trajectories support different field-of-views for separate regions in k -space. In fact, the higher sampling density of low frequencies can be used to reconstruct a bigger field-of-view without introducing aliasing artifacts and the resulting image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) can be improved. A novel, fast variable-density parallel imaging method is presented, which reconstructs different field-of-views from separate frequencies according to the local sampling density in k-space. Aliasing-suppressed images can be produced with high SNR-efficiency without the need for accurate estimation of coil sensitivities and complex or iterative computations.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2010.2042805
View details for Web of Science ID 000277336700006
View details for PubMedID 20236876
As a noninvasive modality, MR is attractive for in vivo skin imaging. Its unique soft tissue contrast makes it an ideal imaging modality to study the skin water content and to resolve the different skin layers. In this work, the challenges of in vivo high-resolution skin imaging are addressed. Three 3D Cartesian sequences are customized to achieve high-resolution imaging and their respective performance is evaluated. The balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) and gradient echo (GRE) sequences are fast but can be sensitive to off-resonance artifacts. The fast large-angle spin echo (FLASE) sequence provides a sharp depiction of the hypodermis structures but results in more specific absorption rate (SAR). The effect of increasing the field strength is assessed. As compared to 1.5 T, signal-to-noise ratio at 3 T slightly increases in the hypodermis and almost doubles in the dermis. The need for fat/water separation is acknowledged and a solution using an interleaved three-point Dixon method and an iterative reconstruction is shown to be effective. The effects of motion are analyzed and two techniques to prevent motion and correct for it are evaluated. Images with 117 x 117 x 500 microm(3) resolution are obtained in imaging times under 6 min.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22271
View details for Web of Science ID 000274938000029
View details for PubMedID 20146351
There has been recent interest in positive-contrast MRI methods for noninvasive tracking of cells labeled with superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles. Low-tip-angle balanced steady-state free precession sequences have been used for fast, high-resolution, and flow-insensitive positive-contrast imaging; however, the contrast can be compromised by the limited suppression of the on-resonant and fat signals. In this work, a new technique that produces positive contrast with alternating repetition time steady-state free precession is proposed to achieve robust background suppression for a broad range of tissue parameters. In vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrate the reliability of the generated positive contrast. The results indicate that the proposed method can enhance the suppression level by up to 18 dB compared with conventional balanced steady-state free precession.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22241
View details for Web of Science ID 000273995200019
View details for PubMedID 20099331
FeCo-graphitic carbon shell nanocrystals are a novel MRI contrast agent with unprecedented high per-metal-atom-basis relaxivity (r(1) = 97 mM(-1) sec(-1), r(2) = 400 mM(-1) sec(-1)) and multifunctional capabilities. While the conventional gadolinium-based contrast-enhanced angiographic magnetic MRI has proven useful for diagnosis of vascular diseases, its short circulation time and relatively low sensitivity render high-resolution MRI of morphologically small vascular structures such as those involved in collateral, arteriogenic, and angiogenic vessel formation challenging. Here, by combining FeCo-graphitic carbon shell nanocrystals with high-resolution MRI technique, we demonstrate that such microvessels down to approximately 100 mum can be monitored in high contrast and noninvasively using a conventional 1.5-T clinical MRI system, achieving a diagnostic imaging standard approximating that of the more invasive X-ray angiography. Preliminary in vitro and in vivo toxicity study results also show no sign of toxicity.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22132
View details for Web of Science ID 000272067600017
View details for PubMedID 19859938
View details for Web of Science ID 000271831500052
This study investigated the ability of MnCl(2) as a cellular MRI contrast agent to determine the in vitro viability of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC). Basic MRI parameters including T(1) and T(2) values of MnCl(2)-labeled hESC and hBMSC were measured and viability signal of manganese (Mn(2+))-labeled cells was validated. Furthermore, the biological activity of Ca(2+)-channels was modulated utilizing both Ca(2+)-channel agonist and antagonist to evaluate concomitant signal changes. Metabolic effects of MnCl(2)-labeling were also assessed using assays for cell viability, proliferation, and apoptosis. Finally, in vivo Mn(2+)-guided MRI of the transplanted hESC was successfully achieved and validated by bioluminescence imaging.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.22071
View details for Web of Science ID 000270558700025
View details for PubMedID 19526508
Although balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) imaging yields high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficiency, the bright lipid signal is often undesirable. The bSSFP spectrum can be shaped to suppress the fat signal with scan-efficient alternating repetition time (ATR) bSSFP. However, the level of suppression is limited, and the pass-band is narrow due to its nonuniform shape. A multiple repetition time (TR) bSSFP scheme is proposed that creates a broad stop-band with a scan efficiency comparable with ATR-SSFP. Furthermore, the pass-band signal uniformity is improved, resulting in fewer shading/banding artifacts. When data acquisition occurs in more than a single TR within the multiple-TR period, the echoes can be combined to significantly improve the level of suppression. The signal characteristics of the proposed technique were compared with bSSFP and ATR-SSFP. The multiple-TR method generates identical contrast to bSSFP, and achieves up to an order of magnitude higher stop-band suppression than ATR-SSFP. In vivo studies at 1.5 T and 3 T demonstrate the superior fat-suppression performance of multiple-TR bSSFP.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21990
View details for Web of Science ID 000267404300021
View details for PubMedID 19449384
Flow-independent angiography is a non-contrast-enhanced technique that can generate vessel contrast even with reduced blood flow in the lower extremities. A method is presented for producing these angiograms with magnetization-prepared balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP). Because bSSFP yields bright fat signal, robust fat suppression is essential for detailed depiction of the vasculature. Therefore, several strategies have been investigated to improve the reliability of fat suppression within short scan times. Phase-sensitive SSFP can efficiently suppress fat; however, partial volume effects due to fat and water occupying the same voxel can lead to the loss of blood signal. In contrast, alternating repetition time (ATR) SSFP minimizes this loss; however, the level of suppression is compromised by field inhomogeneity. Finally, a new double-acquisition ATR-SSFP technique reduces this sensitivity to off-resonance. In vivo results indicate that the two ATR-based techniques provide more reliable contrast when partial volume effects are significant.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21921
View details for Web of Science ID 000266429900031
View details for PubMedID 19365850
The Periodically Rotated Overlapping ParallEL Lines with Enhanced Reconstruction (PROPELLER) method for magnetic resonance imaging data acquisition and reconstruction has the highly desirable property of being able to correct for motion during the scan, making it especially useful for imaging pediatric or uncooperative patients and diffusion imaging. This method nominally supports a circular field of view (FOV), but tailoring the FOV for noncircular shapes results in more efficient, shorter scans. This article presents new algorithms for tailoring PROPELLER acquisitions to the desired FOV shape and size that are flexible and precise. The FOV design also allows for rotational motion which provides better motion correction and reduced aliasing artifacts. Some possible FOV shapes demonstrated are ellipses, ovals and rectangles, and any convex, pi-symmetric shape can be designed. Standard PROPELLER reconstruction is used with minor modifications, and results with simulated motion presented confirm the effectiveness of the motion correction with these modified FOV shapes. These new acquisition design algorithms are simple and fast enough to be computed for each individual scan. Also presented are algorithms for further scan time reductions in PROPELLER echo-planar imaging (EPI) acquisitions by varying the sample spacing in two directions within each blade.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2008.07.023
View details for Web of Science ID 000265323800004
View details for PubMedID 18818039
Flow-independent angiography offers the ability to produce vessel images without contrast agents. Angiograms are acquired with magnetization-prepared three-dimensional balanced steady-state free precession sequences, where the phase encodes are interleaved and the preparation is repeated before each interleaf. The frequent repetition of the preparation significantly decreases the scan efficiency. The number of excitations can instead be reduced with compressed sensing by exploiting the compressibility of the angiograms. Hence, the phase encodes can be undersampled to save scan time without significantly degrading image quality. These savings can be allotted for preparing the magnetization more often, or alternatively, improving resolution. The enhanced resolution and contrast achieved with the proposed method are demonstrated with lower leg angiograms. Depiction of the vasculature is significantly improved with the increased resolution in the phase-encode plane and higher blood-to-background contrast.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21907
View details for Web of Science ID 000265566000015
View details for PubMedID 19230013
The concentric rings two-dimensional (2D) k-space trajectory enables flexible trade-offs between image contrast, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), spatial resolution, and scan time. However, to realize these benefits for in vivo imaging applications, a robust method is desired to deal with fat signal in the acquired data. Multipoint Dixon techniques have been shown to achieve uniform fat suppression with high SNR-efficiency for Cartesian imaging, but application of these methods for non-Cartesian imaging is complicated by the fact that fat off-resonance creates significant blurring artifacts in the reconstruction. In this work, two fat-water separation algorithms are developed for the concentric rings. A retracing design is used to sample rings near the center of k-space through multiple revolutions to characterize the fat-water phase evolution difference at multiple time points. This acquisition design is first used for multipoint Dixon reconstruction, and then extended to a spectroscopic approach to account for the trajectory's full evolution through 3D k-t space. As the trajectory is resolved in time, off-resonance effects cause shifts in frequency instead of spatial blurring in 2D k-space. The spectral information can be used to assess field variation and perform robust fat-water separation. In vivo experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of both algorithms.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21865
View details for Web of Science ID 000263608300017
View details for PubMedID 19097243
Signal inhomogeneities in MRI often appear as multiplicative weightings due to various factors such as field-inhomogeneity dependencies for steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging or receiver sensitivities for coil arrays. These signal inhomogeneities can be reduced by combining multiple data sets with different weights. A sum-of-squares combination is typically used due to its simplicity and near-optimal signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). However, this combination may lead to residual signal inhomogeneity. Alternatively, an optimal linear combination of the data can be performed if the weightings for individual data sets are estimated accurately. We propose a nonlinear combination to improve image-based estimates of the individual weightings. The signal homogeneity can be significantly increased without compromising SNR. The improved performance of the method is demonstrated for SSFP banding artifact reduction and multicoil (phased-array and parallel) image reconstructions.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21720
View details for Web of Science ID 000259053900027
View details for PubMedID 18727089
Single-shot echo-planar imaging (ss-EPI) has not been used widely for diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the spinal cord, because of the magnetic field inhomogeneities around the spine, the small cross-sectional size of the spinal cord, and the increased motion in that area due to breathing, swallowing, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pulsation. These result in artifacts with the usually long readout duration of the ss-EPI method. Reduced field-of-view (FOV) methods decrease the required readout duration for ss-EPI, thereby enabling its practical application to imaging of the spine. In this work, a reduced FOV single-shot diffusion-weighted echo-planar imaging (ss-DWEPI) method is proposed, in which a 2D spatially selective echo-planar RF excitation pulse and a 180 degrees refocusing pulse reduce the FOV in the phase-encode (PE) direction, while suppressing the signal from fat simultaneously. With this method, multi slice images with higher in-plane resolutions (0.94 x 0.94 mm(2) for sagittal and 0.62 x 0.62 mm(2) for axial images) are achieved at 1.5 T, without the need for a longer readout.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21640
View details for Web of Science ID 000258105800029
View details for PubMedID 18666126
Balanced SSFP achieves high SNR efficiency, but suffers from bright fat signal. In this work, a multiple-acquisition fat-water separation technique using alternating repetition time (ATR) balanced SSFP is proposed. The SSFP profile can be modified using alternating repetition times and appropriate phase cycling to yield two spectra where fat and water are in-phase and out-of-phase, respectively. The signal homogeneity and the broad width of the created in-phase and out-of-phase profiles lead to signal cancellation over a broad stop-band. The stop-band suppression is achieved for a wide range of flip angles and tissue parameters. This property, coupled with the inherent flexibility of ATR SSFP in repetition time selection, makes the method a good candidate for fat-suppressed SSFP imaging. The proposed method can be tailored to achieve a smaller residual stop-band signal or a decreased sensitivity to field inhomogeneity depending on application-specific needs.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21692
View details for Web of Science ID 000258105800031
View details for PubMedID 18666114
Passband balanced-steady-state free precession (b-SSFP) fMRI is a recently developed method that utilizes the passband (flat portion) of the b-SSFP off-resonance response to measure MR signal changes elicited by changes in tissue oxygenation following increases in neuronal activity. Rapid refocusing and short readout durations of b-SSFP, combined with the relatively large flat portion of the b-SSFP off-resonance spectrum allows distortion-free full-brain coverage with only two acquisitions. This allows for high-resolution functional imaging, without the spatial distortion frequently encountered in conventional high-resolution functional images. Finally, the 3D imaging compatibility of the b-SSFP acquisitions permits isotropic-voxel-size high-resolution acquisitions. In this study we address some of the major technical issues involved in obtaining passband b-SSFP-based functional brain images with practical imaging parameters and demonstrate the advantages through breath-holding and visual field mapping experiments.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21576
View details for Web of Science ID 000255230700020
View details for PubMedID 18421687
The concentric rings two-dimensional (2D) k-space trajectory provides an alternative way to sample polar data. By collecting 2D k-space data in a series of rings, many unique properties are observed. The concentric rings are inherently centric-ordered, provide a smooth weighting in k-space, and enable shorter total scan times. Due to these properties, the concentric rings are well-suited as a readout trajectory for magnetization-prepared studies. When non-Cartesian trajectories are used for MRI, off-resonance effects can cause blurring and degrade the image quality. For the concentric rings, off-resonance blur can be corrected by retracing rings near the center of k-space to obtain a field map with no extra excitations, and then employing multifrequency reconstruction. Simulations show that the concentric rings exhibit minimal effects due to T(2) (*) modulation, enable shorter scan times for a Nyquist-sampled dataset than projection-reconstruction imaging or Cartesian 2D Fourier transform (2DFT) imaging, and have more spatially distributed flow and motion properties than Cartesian sampling. Experimental results show that off-resonance blurring can be successfully corrected to obtain high-resolution images. Results also show that concentric rings effectively capture the intended contrast in a magnetization-prepared sequence.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21300
View details for Web of Science ID 000251979600014
View details for PubMedID 17969074
Radial imaging techniques, such as projection-reconstruction (PR), are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for dynamic imaging, angiography, and short-T(2) imaging. They are robust to flow and motion, have diffuse aliasing patterns, and support short readouts and echo times. One drawback is that standard implementations do not support anisotropic field-of-view (FOV) shapes, which are used to match the imaging parameters to the object or region-of-interest. A set of fast, simple algorithms for 2-D and 3-D PR, and 3-D cones acquisitions are introduced that match the sampling density in frequency space to the desired FOV shape. Tailoring the acquisitions allows for reduction of aliasing artifacts in undersampled applications or scan time reductions without introducing aliasing in fully-sampled applications. It also makes possible new radial imaging applications that were previously unsuitable, such as imaging elongated regions or thin slabs. 2-D PR longitudinal leg images and thin-slab, single breath-hold 3-D PR abdomen images, both with isotropic resolution, demonstrate these new possibilities. No scan time to volume efficiency is lost by using anisotropic FOVs. The acquisition trajectories can be computed on a scan by scan basis.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2007.902799
View details for Web of Science ID 000252098300006
View details for PubMedID 18270061
The purpose of this study was to synthesize biocompatible polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated iron oxide (PVP-IO) nanoparticles and to evaluate their efficacy as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. The PVP-IO nanoparticles were synthesized by a thermal decomposition method and characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and a superconducting quantum interface device (SQUID). The core size of the particles is about 8-10 nm and the overall size is around 20-30 nm. The measured r(2) (reciprocal of T(2) relaxation time) and r2? (reciprocal of T2? relaxation time) are 141.2 and 338.1 (s mM)(-1), respectively. The particles are highly soluble and stable in various buffers and in serum. The macrophage uptake of PVP-IO is comparable to that of Feridex as measured by a Prussian blue iron stain and phantom study. The signal intensity of a rabbit liver was effectively reduced after intravenous administration of PVP-IO. Therefore PVP-IO nanoparticles are potentially useful for T(2)-weighted MR imaging.
View details for PubMedID 21394237
Nonuniform, non-Cartesian k-space trajectories enable fast scanning with reduced motion and flow artifacts. In such cases, the data are usually convolved with a kernel and resampled onto a Cartesian grid before reconstruction. For trajectories such as undersampled variable-density spirals, the mainlobe width of the kernel for undersampled high spatial frequencies has to be larger to limit the amount of aliasing energy. Continuously varying the kernel extent is time consuming. By dividing k-space into several annuli and using appropriate mainlobe widths for each, the aliasing energy and noise can be reduced at the expense of lower resolution towards the edge of the field of view (FOV). Resolution can instead be preserved at the center of the FOV, which is expected to be free of artifacts, without any artifact reduction. The image reconstructed from each annulus can be deapodized separately. The method can be applied to most k-space trajectories used in MRI.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21329
View details for Web of Science ID 000251979600025
View details for PubMedID 18050316
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) is hindered by the inherent off-resonance sensitivity and unwanted bright fat signal. Multiple-acquisition SSFP combination methods, where multiple datasets with different fixed RF phase increments are acquired, have been used for shaping the SSFP spectrum to solve both problems. We present a new combination method (weighted-combination SSFP or WC-SSFP) that preserves SSFP contrast and enables banding-reduction and fat-water separation. Methods addressing the banding artifact have focused on either getting robust banding-reduction (complex-sum SSFP) or improved SNR efficiency (sum-of-squares SSFP). The proposed method achieves both robust banding-reduction and an SNR efficiency close to that of the sum-of-squares method. A drawback of fat suppression methods that create a broad stop-band around the fat resonance is the wedge shape of the stop-band leading to imperfect suppression. WC-SSFP improves the suppression of the stop-band without affecting the pass-band performance, and prevents fat signal from obscuring the tissues of interest in the presence of considerable resonant frequency variations. The method further facilitates the use of SSFP imaging by providing a control parameter to adjust the level of banding-reduction or fat suppression to application-specific needs.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21413
View details for Web of Science ID 000251346800016
View details for PubMedID 17969082
Ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging is a technique that can visualize tissues with sub-millisecond T(2) values that have little or no signal in conventional MRI techniques. The short-T(2) tissues, which include tendons, menisci, calcifications, and cortical bone, are often obscured by long-T(2) tissues. This paper introduces a new method of long-T(2) component suppression based on adiabatic inversion pulses that significantly improves the contrast of short-T(2) tissues. Narrow bandwidth inversion pulses are used to selectively invert only long-T(2) components. These components are then suppressed by combining images prepared with and without inversion pulses. Fat suppression can be incorporated by combining images with the pulses applied on the fat and water resonances. Scaling factors must be used in the combination to compensate for relaxation during the preparation pulses. The suppression is insensitive to RF inhomogeneities because it uses adiabatic inversion pulses. Simulations and phantom experiments demonstrate the adiabatic pulse contrast and how the scaling factors are chosen. In vivo 2D UTE images in the ankle and lower leg show excellent, robust long-T(2) suppression for visualization of cortical bone and tendons.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.21341
View details for Web of Science ID 000250560000013
View details for PubMedID 17969119
View details for Web of Science ID 000257380403049
Nanocrystals with advanced magnetic or optical properties have been actively pursued for potential biological applications, including integrated imaging, diagnosis and therapy. Among various magnetic nanocrystals, FeCo has superior magnetic properties, but it has yet to be explored owing to the problems of easy oxidation and potential toxicity. Previously, FeCo nanocrystals with multilayered graphitic carbon, pyrolytic carbon or inert metals have been obtained, but not in the single-shelled, discrete, chemically functionalized and water-soluble forms desired for biological applications. Here, we present a scalable chemical vapour deposition method to synthesize FeCo/single-graphitic-shell nanocrystals that are soluble and stable in water solutions. We explore the multiple functionalities of these core-shell materials by characterizing the magnetic properties of the FeCo core and near-infrared optical absorbance of the single-layered graphitic shell. The nanocrystals exhibit ultra-high saturation magnetization, r1 and r2 relaxivities and high optical absorbance in the near-infrared region. Mesenchymal stem cells are able to internalize these nanoparticles, showing high negative-contrast enhancement in magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). Preliminary in vivo experiments achieve long-lasting positive-contrast enhancement for vascular MRI in rabbits. These results point to the potential of using these nanocrystals for integrated diagnosis and therapeutic (photothermal-ablation) applications.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nmat1775
View details for Web of Science ID 000242478600021
View details for PubMedID 17115025
To describe and evaluate a fast, fluid-suppressed 2D multislice steady-state free precession (SSFP) neuroimaging sequence.We developed a fast fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery SSFP sequence for use in neuroimaging. The inversion time (TI) was optimized to yield good cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) suppression while conserving white matter (WM)/lesion contrast across a broad range of flip angles. Multiple SSFP acquisitions were combined using the sum-of-squares (SOS) method to maximize SNR efficiency while minimizing SSFP banding artifacts. We compared our fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery (FLAIR) SSFP sequence with FLAIR fast spin-echo (FSE) in both normal subjects and a volunteer with multiple sclerosis. SNR measurements were performed to ascertain the SNR efficiency of each sequence.Our FLAIR SSFP sequence demonstrated excellent CSF suppression and good gray matter (GM)/WM contrast. Coverage of the entire brain (5-mm slices, 24-cm FOV, 256 x 192 matrix) was achieved with FLAIR SSFP in less than half the scan time of a corresponding FLAIR FSE sequence with similar SNR, yielding improvements of more than 50% in SNR efficiency. Axial scans of a volunteer with multiple sclerosis show clearly visible plaques and very good visualization of brain parenchyma.We have demonstrated the feasibility of a very fast fluid-suppressed neuroimaging technique using SSFP.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20743
View details for Web of Science ID 000242562000031
View details for PubMedID 17036358
3D (kx, ky, t)-space analysis is invoked to provide insights into dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (DMRI) with arbitrary k-space sampling trajectories. The effects of 3D sampling in (kx, ky, t) are analyzed theoretically and verified with computer simulation. The analyses show that a 3D sampling pattern that is more isotropic in (kx, ky, t)-space and denser around the (kx=0, ky=0, t)-line likely results in improved temporal qualities of DMRI. The isotropy of 3D sampling is quantified using Voronoi 3D cells and the isoperimetric theorem. This 3D sampling perspective provides a theoretical framework for understanding the temporal qualities of various DMRI methods.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2006.04.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000241253500004
View details for PubMedID 16997070
An ungated spiral phase-contrast (USPC) method was used to measure cardiac output (CO) rapidly and conveniently. The USPC method, which was originally designed for small peripheral vessels, was modified to assess CO by measuring flow in the ascending aorta (AA). The modified USPC used a 12-interleaf spiral trajectory to acquire full-image data every 283 ms with 2-mm spatial resolution. The total scan time was 5 s. For comparison, a triggered real-time (TRT) method was used to indirectly calculate CO by measuring left-ventricular (LV) volume. The USPC and TRT measurements from all normal volunteers agreed. In a patient with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), high CO was measured with USPC, which agreed well with the invasive cardiac-catheterized measurement. In normal volunteers, CO dropped about 20-30% with Valsalva maneuvering, and increased about 100% after exercise. Continuous 28-s cycling between Valsalva maneuvering and free-breathing showed that USPC can temporally resolve physiological CO changes.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20970
View details for Web of Science ID 000239465500023
View details for PubMedID 16802317
Ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging has shown promise as a technique for imaging tissues with T2 values of a few milliseconds or less. These tissues, such as tendons, menisci, and cortical bone, are normally invisible in conventional magnetic resonance imaging techniques but have signal in UTE imaging. They are difficult to visualize because they are often obscured by tissues with longer T2 values. In this article, new long-T2 suppression RF pulses that improve the contrast of short-T2 species are introduced. These pulses are improvements over previous long-T2 suppression pulses that suffered from poor off-resonance characteristics or T1 sensitivity. Short-T2 tissue contrast can also be improved by suppressing fat in some applications. Dual-band long-T2 suppression pulses that additionally suppress fat are also introduced. Simulations, along with phantom and in vivo experiments using 2D and 3D UTE imaging, demonstrate the feasibility, improved contrast, and improved sensitivity of these new long-T2 suppression pulses. The resulting images show predominantly short-T2 species, while most long-T2 species are suppressed.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20926
View details for Web of Science ID 000238823600011
View details for PubMedID 16724304
The 3D Cones k-space trajectory has many desirable properties for rapid and ultra-short echo time magnetic resonance imaging. An algorithm is presented that generates the 3D Cones gradient waveforms given a desired field of view and resolution. The algorithm enables a favorable trade-off between increases in readout time and decreases in the total number of required readouts. The resulting trajectory is very signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficient and has excellent aliasing properties. A rapid high-resolution ultra-short echo time imaging sequence is used to compare the 3D Cones trajectory to 3D projection reconstruction (3DPR) sampling schemes. For equivalent scan times, the 3D Cones trajectory has better SNR performance and fewer aliasing artifacts as compared to the 3DPR trajectory.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20796
View details for Web of Science ID 000235858400015
View details for PubMedID 16450366
Multislice breath-held coronary imaging techniques conventionally lack the coverage of free-breathing 3D acquisitions but use a considerably shorter acquisition window during the cardiac cycle. This produces images with significantly less motion artifact but a lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). By using the extra SNR available at 3 T and undersampling k-space without introducing significant aliasing artifacts, we were able to acquire high-resolution fat-suppressed images of the whole heart in 17 heartbeats (a single breath-hold). The basic pulse sequence consists of a spectral-spatial excitation followed by a variable-density spiral readout. This is combined with real-time localization and a real-time prospective shim correction. Images are reconstructed with the use of gridding, and advanced techniques are used to reduce aliasing artifacts.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20765
View details for Web of Science ID 000235326500019
View details for PubMedID 16408262
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences use fully re-focussed gradient waveforms to achieve a high signal and useful image contrast in short scan times. Despite these strengths, the clinical feasibility of balanced SSFP is still limited both by bright fat signal and by the signal voids that result from off-resonance effects such as field or susceptibility variations. A new method, dual-acquisition phase-sensitive SSFP, combines the signals from two standard balanced SSFP acquisitions to separate fat and water while simultaneously reducing the signal voids. The acquisitions are added in quadrature and then phase corrected using a simple algorithm before fat and water can be identified simply by the sign of the signal. This method is especially useful for applications at high field, where the RF power deposition, spatial resolution requirements and gradient strength limit the minimum repetition times. Finally, dual-acquisition phase-sensitive SSFP can be combined with other magnetization preparation schemes to produce specific image contrast in addition to separating fat and water signals.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.mri.2005.10.013
View details for Web of Science ID 000235506400002
View details for PubMedID 16455400
Multiple receiver-coil data collection is an effective approach to reduce scan time. There are many parallel imaging techniques that reduce scan time using multiple receiver coils. One of these methods, partially parallel imaging with localized sensitivities (PILS), utilizes the localized sensitivity of each coil. The advantages of PILS over other parallel imaging methods include the simplicity of the algorithm, good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) properties, and the fact that there is no additional complexity involved in applying the algorithm to arbitrary k-space trajectories. This PILS method can be further improved to provide truly parallel broadband imaging with the use of multiple-demodulation hardware. By customizing the demodulation based on each coil's location, the k-space sampling rate can be chosen based on each coil's localized sensitivity region along the readout direction. A simulated demodulation of data from 2D Fourier transform (FT) and spiral trajectories is shown to demonstrate the method's feasibility.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20595
View details for Web of Science ID 000231494000018
View details for PubMedID 16086362
In areas of highly pulsatile and turbulent flow, real-time imaging with high temporal, spatial, and velocity resolution is essential. The use of 1D Fourier velocity encoding (FVE) was previously demonstrated for velocity measurement in real time, with fewer effects resulting from off-resonance. The application of variable-density sampling is proposed to improve velocity measurement without a significant increase in readout time or the addition of aliasing artifacts. Two sequence comparisons are presented to improve velocity resolution or increase the velocity field of view (FOV) to unambiguously measure velocities up to 5 m/s without aliasing. The results from a tube flow phantom, a stenosis phantom, and healthy volunteers are presented, along with a comparison of measurements using Doppler ultrasound (US). The studies confirm that variable-density acquisition of kz-kv space improves the velocity resolution and FOV of such data, with the greatest impact on the improvement of FOV to include velocities in stenotic ranges.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20594
View details for Web of Science ID 000231494000016
View details for PubMedID 16088883
Reconstruction of magnetic resonance images from data not falling on a Cartesian grid is a Fourier inversion problem typically solved using convolution interpolation, also known as gridding. Gridding is simple and robust and has parameters, the grid oversampling ratio and the kernel width, that can be used to trade accuracy for computational memory and time reductions. We have found that significant reductions in computation memory and time can be obtained while maintaining high accuracy by using a minimal oversampling ratio, from 1.125 to 1.375, instead of the typically employed grid oversampling ratio of two. When using a minimal oversampling ratio, appropriate design of the convolution kernel is important for maintaining high accuracy. We derive a simple equation for choosing the optimal Kaiser-Bessel convolution kernel for a given oversampling ratio and kernel width. As well, we evaluate the effect of presampling the kernel, a common technique used to reduce the computation time, and find that using linear interpolation between samples adds negligible error with far less samples than is necessary with nearest-neighbor interpolation. We also develop a new method for choosing the optimal presampled kernel. Using a minimal oversampling ratio and presampled kernel, we are able to perform a three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction in one-eighth the time and requiring one-third the computer memory versus using an oversampling ratio of two and a Kaiser-Bessel convolution kernel, while maintaining the same level of accuracy.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2005.848376
View details for Web of Science ID 000229618700010
View details for PubMedID 15959939
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences are useful in cardiac imaging because they achieve high signal efficiency and excellent blood-myocardium contrast. Spiral imaging enables the efficient acquisition of cardiac images with reduced flow and motion artifacts. Balanced SSFP has been combined with spiral imaging for real-time interactive cardiac MRI. New features of this method to enable scanning in a clinical setting include short, first-moment nulled spiral trajectories and interactive control over the spatial location of banding artifacts (SSFP-specific signal variations). The feasibility of spiral balanced SSFP cardiac imaging at 1.5 T is demonstrated. In observations from over 40 volunteer and patient studies, spiral balanced SSFP imaging shows significantly improved contrast compared to spiral gradient-spoiled imaging, producing better visualization of cardiac function, improved localization, and reduced flow artifacts from blood.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20489
View details for Web of Science ID 000229468200031
View details for PubMedID 15906302
The aim of this work was to show the potential utility of a novel rapid 3D fat-suppressed MRI method for joint imaging.Phase-sensitive steady-state free precession provides rapid 3D joint imaging with robust fat suppression and excellent cartilage delineation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000228875300013
View details for PubMedID 15855095
To verify the potential of ungated spiral phase-contrast (USPC), which has been shown to provide accurate and reproducible time-averaged measurements of pulsatile flow, for rapid measurement of renal artery blood flow (RABF) in vivo.The RABF rates of 11 normal human subjects and one patient with renal failure were measured with USPC within six seconds.Rapid USPC scans produced reproducible RABF measurements (SD < or = 9%) that agreed with the normal RABF rates known from the literature. The RABF rates of the patient with renal failure were substantially less (<50-65%) than the normal RABF rates.The results demonstrate that it is now possible to obtain rapid and consistent RABF measurements within six seconds with USPC.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.20325
View details for Web of Science ID 000228653600012
View details for PubMedID 15834919
The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) for assessing human epicardial coronary artery vasodilation.Coronary vasodilation plays a vital role in the human coronary circulation. Previous studies of epicardial coronary vasodilation have used invasive coronary angiography. Coronary MRA may provide an alternative noninvasive method to directly assess changes in coronary size.Thirty-two subjects were studied: 12 patients (age 55 +/- 18 years) and 20 healthy subjects (age 34 +/- 4 years). High-resolution multi-slice spiral coronary MRA (in-plane resolution of 0.52 to 0.75 mm) was performed before and after sublingual nitroglycerin (NTG). Quantitative analysis of coronary vasodilation was performed on cross-sectional images of the right coronary artery (RCA). A time-course analysis of coronary vasodilation was performed in a subset of eight subjects for 30 min after NTG. Signal-to-noise ratio was also measured on the in-plane RCA images.Coronary MRA demonstrated a 23% increase in cross-sectional area after NTG (16.9 +/- 7.8 mm2 to 20.8 +/- 8.9 mm2, p <0.0001), with significant vasodilation between 3 and 15 min after NTG on time-course analysis. The MRA measurements had low interobserver variability (< or =5%) and good correlation with X-ray angiography (r=0.98). The magnitude of vasodilation correlated with baseline cross-sectional area (r=0.52, p=0.03) and age (r=0.40, p=0.019). Post-NTG images also demonstrated a 31% improvement in coronary signal-to-noise ratio (p = 0.002).Nitroglycerin-enhanced coronary MRA can noninvasively measure coronary artery vasodilation and is a promising noninvasive technique to study coronary vasomotor function.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jacc.2004.09.057
View details for Web of Science ID 000226012600020
View details for PubMedID 15629383
Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging sequences require short repetition times (TRs) to avoid off-resonance artifacts. The use of slab-selective excitations is common, as this can improve imaging speed by limiting the field of view (FOV). However, the necessarily short-duration excitations have poor slab profiles. This results in unusable slices at the slab edge due to significant flip-angle variations or aliasing in the slab direction. Variable-rate selective excitation (VERSE) is a technique by which a time-varying gradient waveform is combined with a modified RF waveform to provide the same excitation profile with different RF power and duration characteristics. With the use of VERSE, it is possible to design short-duration pulses with dramatically improved slab profiles. These pulses achieve high flip angles with only minor off-resonance sensitivity, while meeting SAR limits at 1.5 T. The improved slab profiles will enable more rapid 3D imaging of limited volumes, with more consistent image contrast across the excited slab.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20168
View details for Web of Science ID 000223529200020
View details for PubMedID 15334579
Refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) is limited by its high sensitivity to local field variation, particularly at high field strengths or the long repetition times (TRs) necessary for high resolution. Several methods have been proposed to reduce SSFP banding artifact by combining multiple phase-cycled SSFP acquisitions, each differing in how individual signal magnitudes and phases are combined. These include maximum-intensity SSFP (MI-SSFP) and complex-sum SSFP (CS-SSFP). The reduction in SSFP banding is accompanied by a loss in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficiency. In this work a general framework for analyzing banding artifact reduction, contrast, and SNR of any multiple-acquisition SSFP combination method is presented. A new sum-of-squares method is proposed, and a comparison is performed between each of the combination schemes. The sum-of-squares SSFP technique (SOS-SSFP) delivers both robust banding artifact reduction and higher SNR efficiency than other multiple-acquisition techniques, while preserving SSFP contrast.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.20052
View details for Web of Science ID 000221239000022
View details for PubMedID 15122688
A dynamic real-time (dRT) architecture has been developed to address limitations in magnetic resonance coronary angiography (MRCA). A prospective clinical trial of 45 patients suspected of coronary artery disease was conducted to determine clinical utility of this integrated real-time system.Clinical implementation of MRCA is not performed routinely today. However, improved anatomic coverage, image quality, and scan flexibility may enhance its clinical utility. A novel real-time architecture addresses these challenges through instantaneous reconfiguration between real-time (RT) and high-resolution (HR) imaging sequences with dynamic selection of the desired element on a custom-designed receiver coil.A total of 45 subjects were recruited consecutively to evaluate scan time, anatomic coverage, image quality, and detection of coronary lesions. Using a modern PC, the dRT switches from RT to gated HR imaging sequence in one repetition time (39 ms). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning was performed using a custom-designed coronary coil consisting of two four-inch phase-array circular elements enabled with real-time selection of the desired coil element.All studies were completed in less than 45 minutes and required a mean of 12 breath holds (16 heartbeats). Of the total number of coronary segments, 91% (357/394) were visualized. Excellent or good image quality was achieved in 86% of the segments. Blinded analysis of the coronary arteries revealed sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 88% in the detection of coronary stenoses.The integrated environment of dRT provides a rapid and flexible scan protocol for MRCA while achieving wide anatomical coverage, high image quality, and reliable detection of coronary stenosis in short scan time.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.JCMR.20036192
View details for Web of Science ID 000226039200015
View details for PubMedID 15646892
View details for Web of Science ID 000227671300060
MR coronary angiography (MRCA) has been demonstrated successfully at 3 Tesla (T). However, the advantages remain unclear. No systematic comparison of MRCA between 1.5 T and 3 T has been performed. Therefore, anatomic coverage, image quality, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), contrast-to-noise ration (CNR), and susceptibility artifacts were compared in 23 subjects.Identical real-time (RT) and high-resolution (HR) sequences were implemented on the GE 1.5 T (Signa Twinspeed) and 3.0 T (Signa VH/i) whole body systems (GE, Milwaukee, WI). Both scanners were equipped with high-performance gradient systems capable of 40 mT/m peak amplitude and 150 mT/m/ms slew rate. Real-time localization of the coronary arteries was followed by a cardiac-gated, breath-hold HR sequence. Twenty-three subjects were recruited consecutively and underwent both 3 T and 1.5 T MRCA within one week. Coronary coverage based on the number of coronary segments visualized, image quality using a grading scale, SNR, CNR, and presence of susceptibility artifacts were analyzed. A significant improvement in SNR (47%), CNR (30%), and image quality were seen in 3 T. However, a significant increase in susceptibility artifacts was also noted.MRCA at 3 T significantly improves SNR, CNR, and image quality at the expense of susceptibility artifacts. Further optimization of the imaging parameters at 3 T may facilitate clinical implementation of MRCA.
View details for DOI 10.1081/JCMR.20036180
View details for Web of Science ID 000226039200014
View details for PubMedID 15646891
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is limited in many cases by long scan times and low spatial resolution. Recent advances in gradient systems hardware allow very rapid imaging sequences, such as steady-state free precession (SSFP), which has repetition times (TRs) of 2-5 ms. The design of these rapid sequences demands time-optimal preparatory gradient waveforms to provide maximum readout duty-cycle, and preserve spatial resolution and SNR while keeping TRs low. Time-optimal gradient waveforms can be synthesized analytically for certain simple cases. However, certain problems, such as time-optimal 2D and 3D gradient design with moment constraints, either may not have a solution or must be solved numerically. We show that time-optimal gradient design is a convex-optimization problem, for which very efficient solution methods exist. These methods can be applied to solve gradient design problems for oblique gradient design, spiral imaging, and flow-encoding using either a constant slew rate or the more exact voltage-limited gradient models. Ultimately, these methods provide a time-optimal solution to many 2D and 3D gradient design problems in a sufficiently short time for interactive imaging.
View details for Web of Science ID 000188041500012
View details for PubMedID 14705048
Variable-density k-space sampling using a stack-of-spirals trajectory is proposed for ultra fast 3D imaging. Since most of the energy of an image is concentrated near the k-space origin, a variable-density k-space sampling method can be used to reduce the sampling density in the outer portion of k-space. This significantly reduces scan time while introducing only minor aliasing artifacts from the low-energy, high-spatial-frequency components. A stack-of-spirals trajectory allows control over the density variations in both the k(x)-k(y) plane and the k(z) direction while fast k-space coverage is provided by spiral trajectories in the k(x)-k(y) plane. A variable-density stack-of-spirals trajectory consists of variable-density spirals in each k(x)-k(y) plane that are located in varying density in the k(z) direction. Phantom experiments demonstrate that reasonable image quality is preserved with approximately half the scan time. This technique was then applied to first-pass perfusion imaging of the lower extremities which demands very rapid volume coverage. Using a variable-density stack-of-spirals trajectory, 3D images were acquired at a temporal resolution of 2.8 sec over a large volume with a 2.5 x 2.5 x 8 mm(3) spatial resolution. These images were used to resolve the time-course of muscle intensity following contrast injection.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10644
View details for Web of Science ID 000186991500019
View details for PubMedID 14648576
To test the feasibility of using real-time phase contrast (PC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track velocities (1-20 cm/second) of skeletal muscle motion.To do this we modified a fast real-time spiral PC pulse sequence to accommodate through-plane velocity encoding in the range of -20 to +20 cm/second. We successfully imaged motion of the biceps brachii and triceps brachii muscles during elbow flexion and extension in seven unimpaired adult subjects using real-time PC MRI.The velocity data demonstrate that the biceps brachii and the triceps brachii, antagonistic muscles, move in opposite directions during elbow flexion and extension with velocity values in the muscle tissue ranging from -10 to +10 cm/second.With further development, real-time PC MRI may provide a means to analyze muscle function in individuals with neurologic or movement disorders who cannot actively complete the repeated motions required for dynamic MRI techniques, such as cine PC MRI, that are more commonly used in musculoskeletal biomechanics applications.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmri.10422
View details for Web of Science ID 000186844200013
View details for PubMedID 14635159
A new synthesis algorithm, based on the Shinnar-Le Roux (SLR) transform, can be used to generate fully refocused steady-state pulse sequences with arbitrary magnetization profiles as a function of off-resonant precession. This is accomplished by appropriate periodic oscillation of the RF excitation magnitude and phase from echo to echo. The technique is applied to the design of refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequences with flat profiles, providing the opportunity for banding-artifact-free imaging with steady-state contrast. The algorithm is also used to generate refocused-SSFP sequences with an arbitrarily broad region of attenuated signal. These sequences are implemented and applied to the problem of steady-state fat suppression. Preliminary results show signal levels that agree well with theory, and a broad region of suppressed signal at each echo. Total imaging time is kept identical to that of a standard refocused-SSFP experiment through echo equalization and interleaving. 3D images from the leg of a normal volunteer acquired in 44 s demonstrate the applicability of the technique to fat-suppressed imaging.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10542
View details for Web of Science ID 000185174500014
View details for PubMedID 12939763
Flow jets containing velocities up to 5-7 m/s are common in patients with congenital defects and patients with valvular disease (stenosis and regurgitation). The quantitation of peak velocity and flow volume in these jets is clinically significant but requires specialized imaging sequences. Conventional 2DFT phase contrast sequences require lengthy acquisitions on the order of several minutes. Conventional spiral phase contrast sequences are faster, but are highly corrupted by flow artifacts at these high velocities due to phase dispersion and motion during the excitation and readout. A new prospectively gated method based on spiral phase contrast is presented, which has a sufficiently short measurement interval (<4 ms) to minimize flow artifacts, while achieving high spatial resolution (2 x 2 x 4 mm(3)) to minimize partial volume effects, all within a single breathhold. A complete single-slice phase contrast movie loop with 22 ms true temporal resolution is acquired in one 10-heartbeat breathhold. Simulations indicate that this technique is capable of imaging through-plane jets with velocities up to 10 m/s, and initial studies in aortic stenosis patients show accurate in vivo measurement of peak velocities up to 4.2 m/s (using echocardiography as a reference).
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10538
View details for Web of Science ID 000184529300017
View details for PubMedID 12876713
Fully refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) is a rapid, efficient imaging sequence that can provide diagnostically useful image contrast. In SSFP, the signal is refocused midway between excitation pulses, much like in a spin-echo experiment. However, in SSFP, the phase of the refocused spins alternates for each resonant frequency interval equal to the reciprocal of the sequence repetition time (TR). Appropriate selection of the TR results in a 180 degrees phase difference between lipid and water signals. This phase difference can be used for fat-water separation in SSFP without any increase in scan time. The technique is shown to produce excellent non-contrast-enhanced, flow-independent angiograms of the peripheral vasculature.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10488
View details for Web of Science ID 000183961800028
View details for PubMedID 12815698
A spiral high-resolution coronary artery imaging sequence (SH) interfaced with real-time localization system (RT) has been developed. A clinical study of 40 patients suspected of coronary artery disease (CAD) was conducted. Segmented k-space acquisition techniques have dominated magnetic resonance coronary angiography (MRCA) over the last decade. Although a recent multicenter trial using this technique demonstrated encouraging results, the technique was hampered by low specificity. Spiral k-space acquisition had demonstrated several advantages for MRCA. Therefore, a first clinical trial implementing spiral high-resolution coronary imaging sequence with real-time localization (SH-RT) was performed.A clinical study of 40 patients suspected of CAD undergoing X-ray angiography was conducted to analyze the clinical reliability of this novel imaging system. The SH-RT had been designed to exploit the unique capability of two imaging sequences. The RT allowed a rapid localization of the coronary arteries. Then SH achieved multislice acquisition during a short breath-hold with submillimeter resolution. The MRCA data were analyzed for scan time, anatomic coverage, image quality, and accuracy in detecting CAD. In 40 subjects, SH achieved 0.7 to 0.9 mm resolution with 14-heartbeat breath-holds. Excellent or good image quality was achieved in 78% (263/337) of the coronary segments. Blinded consensus reading among three observers generated sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 91% in the detection of CAD compared with X-ray angiography. The MRCA imaging sequence implementing a novel spiral k-space acquisition technique enabled rapid and reliable imaging of the CAD in submillimeter resolution with short breath-holds.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0735-1097(03)00079-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000181968900011
View details for PubMedID 12679213
The high prevalence of osteoarthritis continues to demand improved accuracy in detecting cartilage injury and monitoring its response to different treatments. MRI is the most accurate noninvasive method of diagnosing cartilage lesions. However, MR imaging of cartilage is limited by scan time, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and image contrast. Recently, there has been renewed interest in SNR-efficient imaging sequences for imaging cartilage, including various forms of steady-state free-precession as well as driven-equilibrium imaging. This work compares several of these sequences with existing methods, both theoretically and in normal volunteers. Results show that the new steady-state methods increase SNR-efficiency by as much as 30% and improve cartilage-synovial fluid contrast by a factor of three. Additionally, these methods markedly decrease minimum scan times, while providing 3D coverage without the characteristic blurring seen in fast spin-echo images.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10424
View details for Web of Science ID 000182007200013
View details for PubMedID 12652541
View details for Web of Science ID 000181669502032
View details for Web of Science ID 000181390700028
A novel ungated spiral phase-contrast (USPC) imaging method was developed for rapid measurement of time-averaged blood-flow rates in the presence of pulsatility. The spatial point-spread function was analyzed to provide an intuitive understanding of how spiral trajectories, which sample the k-space origin at every excitation, can mitigate the effects of pulsatility. Pulsatile flow phantom experiments were performed to validate the accuracy and repeatability of the USPC method. The measurement of flow in the renal and femoral arteries of normal volunteers were also performed. The phantom results (error < or = +9%, SD(phantom) < or = 2%, time-averaged pulsatile-flow rates = 3-15 ml/s) and in vivo results (SD(renal) < or = 8%, SD(femoral) < or = 14%) demonstrate the potential of the USPC method for rapidly and repeatedly measuring accurate time-averaged blood flow even in relatively small arteries and in the presence of strong pulsatility.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10369
View details for Web of Science ID 000180807100016
View details for PubMedID 12541253
Magnetic resonance coronary angiography (MRCA) has witnessed tremendous technical advances over the past decade. Although high-quality images of the coronary arteries have been demonstrated, this imaging modality is not performed routinely today. The fundamental properties of the coronary arteries deterring noninvasive imaging are well known. This article provides an overview of the developmental efforts to overcome these challenges, and highlights key technical and clinical advances. The future prospect of MRCA depends on clinical implementation of the technique. In order to meet this challenge, the following issues must be addressed: contrast- and signal-to-noise ratio, temporal and spatial resolution, and scan protocol.
View details for PubMedID 12493161
A new method of encoding flow velocity as image phase in a refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequence, called steady-state phase contrast (SSPC), can be used to generate velocity images rapidly while retaining high signal. Magnitude images with refocused-SSFP contrast are simultaneously acquired. This technique is compared with the standard method of RF-spoiled phase contrast (PC), and is found to have more than double the phase-signal to phase-noise ratio (PNR) when compared with standard PC at reasonable repetition intervals (TRs). As TR decreases, this advantage increases exponentially, facilitating rapid scans with high PNR efficiency. Rapid switching between the two necessary steady states can be accomplished by the insertion of a single TR interval with no flow-encoding gradient. The technique is implemented in a 2DFT sequence and validated in a phantom study. Preliminary results indicate that further TR reduction may be necessary for high-quality cardiac images; however, images in more stationary structures, such as the descending aorta and carotid bifurcation, exhibit good signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and PNR. Comparisons with standard-PC images verify the PNR advantage predicted by theory.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10285
View details for Web of Science ID 000179055200018
View details for PubMedID 12418005
Fluctuating equilibrium magnetic resonance (FEMR) is a rapid three-dimensional (3D) imaging sequence with high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). FEMR may be useful for detecting cartilage defects in the knee. At 1.5 T, FEMR uses a TR with odd multiples of 2.2 ms for fat/water separation. With a TR of 6.6 ms, high-resolution 3D imaging of cartilage is possible.The knees of 10 volunteers and two patients were imaged on a GE Signa 1.5 T scanner using an extremity coil. Scans were preceded by a shimming sequence optimizing linear terms. Subjects were imaged with FEMR, proton-density fast spin-echo (PD-FSE), T2-weighted fast spin-echo (T2-FSE), and 3D fat-suppressed spoiled-gradient-recalled echo (3D-SPGR).SNR and contrast-to-noise efficiency measurements for cartilage using FEMR were superior to those using PD-FSE, T2-FSE, and 3D-FS-SPGR. FSE images showed bright synovial fluid with limited cartilage detail. 3D-SPGR had comparable resolution to FEMR but suboptimal cartilage/fluid contrast and longer scan times (8 min versus 2 min). Cartilage surface detail, outlined by bright synovial fluid, was best seen on the FEMR images.FEMR obtains high-resolution 3D images of the entire knee in 2 min with excellent cartilage/fluid contrast. FEMR is sensitive to field inhomogeneity and requires shimming. Surface defects are outlined by bright synovial fluid, and cartilage has higher signal-to-noise efficiency compared with PD-FSE, T2-FSE, and 3D-SPGR techniques.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00256-002-0562-4
View details for Web of Science ID 000178773000003
View details for PubMedID 12324826
View details for Web of Science ID 000174106700970
A novel technique of generating noncontrast angiograms is presented. This method, called oscillating dual-equilibrium steady-state angiography (ODESSA), utilizes a modified steady-state free precession (SSFP) pulse sequence. The SSFP sequence is modified such that flowing material reaches a steady state which oscillates between two equilibrium values, while stationary material attains a single, nonoscillatory steady state. Subtraction of adjacent echoes results in large, uniform signal from all flowing spins and zero signal from stationary spins. Venous signal can be suppressed based on its reduced T2. ODESSA arterial signal is more than three times larger than that of traditional phase-contrast angiography (PCA) in the same scan time, and also compares favorably with other techniques of MR angiography (MRA). Pulse sequences are implemented in 2D, 3D, and volumetric-projection modes. Angiograms of the lower leg, generated in as few as 5 s, show high arterial signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and full suppression of other tissues.
View details for DOI 10.1002/mrm.10070
View details for Web of Science ID 000174127500012
View details for PubMedID 11870838
The Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an emerging technology for catheter-based imaging and interventions. Real-time MRI is a promising methodfor overcoming catheter and physiologic motion for intravascular imaging.All imaging was performed on a 1.5 T Signa MRI scanner with high-speed gradients. Multiple catheter coils were designed and constructed, including low-profile, stub-matched coils. Coil sensitivity patterns and SNR measurements were compared. Real-time imaging was performed with an interleaved spiral sequence using a dedicated workstation, providing real-time data acquisition, image reconstruction and interactive control and display. Real-time "black-blood" imaging was achieved through incorporation of off-slice saturation pulses. The imaging sequence was tested in a continuous flow phantom and then in vivo in the rabbit aorta using a 2 mm catheter coil.The real-time intravascular imaging sequence achieved 120-440 micron resolution at up to 16 frames per second. Low-profile stub-tuned catheter coils achieved similar SNR to larger traditional coil designs. In the phantom experiments, addition of real-time black-blood saturation pulses effectively suppressed the flow signal and allowed visualization of the phantom wall. In vivo experiments clearly showed real-time intravascular imaging of the rabbit aortic wall with minimal motion artifacts and effective blood signal suppression.Real-time imaging with low-profile coil designs provides significant enhancements to intravascular MRI.
View details for Web of Science ID 000176057200005
View details for PubMedID 12074137
View details for Web of Science ID 000171895002995
An interactive real-time imaging system capable of rapid coronary artery imaging is described. High-resolution spiral and circular echo planar trajectories were used to achieve 0.8 x 1.6 mm2 resolution in 135 ms (CEPI) or 1.13 x 1.13 mm2 resolution in 189 ms (spirals), over a 20-cm FOV. Using a sliding window reconstruction, display rates of up to 37 images/sec were achieved. Initial results indicate this technique can perform as a high-quality 2D coronary localizer and with SNR improvement may enable rapid screening of the coronary tree.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170740300004
View details for PubMedID 11550232
The purpose of this study was to validate cardiac measurements derived from real-time cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as compared with well-validated conventional cine MRI.Although cardiac MRI provides accurate assessment of left ventricular (LV) volume and mass, most techniques have been relatively slow and required electrocardiogram (ECG) gating over many heart beats. A newly developed real-time MRI system allows continuous real-time dynamic acquisition and display without cardiac gating or breath-holding.Fourteen healthy volunteers and nine patients with heart failure underwent real-time and cine MRI in the standard short-axis orientation with a 1.5T MRI scanner. Nonbreath-holding cine MRI was performed with ECG gating and respiratory compensation. Left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), left ventricular endsystolic volume (LVESV), ejection fraction (EF) and LV mass calculated from the images obtained by real-time MRI were compared to those obtained by cine MRI.The total study time including localization for real-time MRI was significantly shorter than cine MRI (8.6 +/- 2.3 vs. 24.7 +/- 3.5 min, p < 0.001). Both imaging techniques yielded good quality images allowing cardiac measurements. The measurements of LVEDV, LVESV, EF and LV mass obtained with real-time MRI showed close correlation with those obtained with cine MRI (LVEDV: r = 0.985, p < 0.001; LVESV: r = 0.994, p < 0.001; EF: r = 0.975, p < 0.001; LV mass: r = 0.977, p < 0.001).Real-time MRI provides accurate measurements of LV volume and mass in a time-efficient manner with respect to image acquisition.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170205800033
View details for PubMedID 11499748
Refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging sequences have recently regained popularity as faster gradient hardware has allowed shorter repetition times, thereby reducing SSFP's sensitivity to off-resonance effects. Although these sequences offer fast scanning with good signal-to-noise efficiency, the "transient response," or time taken to reach a steady-state, can be long compared with the total imaging time, particularly when using 2D sequences. This results in lost imaging time and has made SSFP difficult to use for real-time and cardiac-gated applications. A linear-systems analysis of the steady-state and transient response for general periodic sequences is shown. The analysis is applied to refocused-SSFP sequences to generate a two-stage method of "catalyzing," or speeding up the progression to steady-state by first scaling, then directing the magnetization. This catalyzing method is compared with previous methods in simulations and experimentally. Although the second stage of the method exhibits some sensitivity to B(1) variations, our results show that the transient time can be significantly reduced, allowing imaging in a shorter total scan time. Magn Reson Med 46:149-158, 2001.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169561000019
View details for PubMedID 11443721
A real-time interactive black-blood imaging system is described. Rapid blood suppression is achieved by exciting and dephasing slabs outside the imaging slice before each imaging excitation. Sharp-profiled radio frequency saturation pulses placed close to the imaging slice provide good blood suppression, even in views containing slow through-plane flow. In vivo results indicate that this technique improves endocardial border definition during systole in real-time cardiac wall-motion studies. Phantom and animal results indicate that this technique nearly eliminates flow artifacts in real-time intravascular studies. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2001;13:807-812.
View details for Web of Science ID 000171296300020
View details for PubMedID 11329205
A multislice real-time imaging technique is described which can provide continuous visualization of the entire left ventricle under resting and stress conditions. Three dynamically adjustable slices containing apical, mid, and base short axis views are imaged 16 times/sec (48 images/sec), with each image providing 3.12 mm resolution over a 20 cm field of view. Initial studies indicate that this technique is useful for the assessment of LV function by providing simultaneous real-time visualization of all 16 wall segments. This technique may also be used for stress LV function and, when used in conjunction with contrast agents, myocardial perfusion imaging. Magn Reson Med 45:371-375, 2001.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167163800004
View details for PubMedID 11241692
A new spiral imaging technique incorporates the acquisition of a field map into imaging interleaves. Variable density spiral trajectories are designed to oversample the central region of k-space, and interleaves are acquired at two different echo times. A field map is extracted from this data and multifrequency reconstruction is used to form an off-resonance corrected image using the entire dataset. Simulation, phantom, and in vivo results indicate that this technique can be used to achieve higher image and/or field map spatial resolution compared to conventional techniques. Magn Reson Med 45:521-524, 2001.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167163800025
View details for PubMedID 11241713
Off-resonant spins, produced by chemical shift, tissue-susceptibility differences, or main-field inhomogeneity, can cause blurring or shifts, severely compromising the diagnostic value of magnetic resonance images. To mitigate these off-resonance effects, the authors propose a technique whereby two images are acquired at different echo times (TEs) and interpolated to produce a single image with dramatically-reduced blurring. The phase difference of these two images is not used to produce a field map; instead, the weighted complex-valued average of the two images is used to produce a single image. Previously-described methods reconstruct a set of preliminary images, each at a different off-resonant frequency, and then assemble these into one final image, choosing the best off-resonant frequency for each voxel. Compared to these methods, the proposed technique requires the same or less processing time and is much less sensitive to errors in the field map. This technique was applied to centric-ordered EPI but it can be applied to any imaging trajectory, including one-shot EPI, spiral imaging, projection-reconstruction imaging, and 2D GRASE. Magn Reson Med 45:269-276, 2001.
View details for Web of Science ID 000166720300014
View details for PubMedID 11180435
View details for Web of Science ID 000090072303314
View details for Web of Science ID 000090072301933
A connectivity algorithm combined with a new gray-level morphological filter dramatically improves the segmentation of tortuous coronary arteries from 3D MRI. Small coronary arteries are segmented from the larger ventricles with a new filter. These blood vessels are segmented from the noise background with connectivity. Coronary angiograms were computed in nine datasets acquired on volunteers with 3D stack of spirals and contrast-enhanced navigator sequences by both a maximum intensity projection and surface rendering. Surface images provided depth information needed to distinguish branching arteries from crossing veins. Magn Reson Med 43:892-895, 2000.
View details for Web of Science ID 000087430000016
View details for PubMedID 10861885
Gridding reconstruction is a method to reconstruct data onto a Cartesian grid from a set of nonuniformly sampled measurements. This method is appreciated for being robust and computationally fast. However, it lacks solid analysis and design tools to quantify or minimize the reconstruction error. Least squares reconstruction (LSR), on the other hand, is another method which is optimal in the sense that it minimizes the reconstruction error. This method is computationally intensive and, in many cases, sensitive to measurement noise. Hence, it is rarely used in practice. Despite their seemingly different approaches, the gridding and LSR methods are shown to be closely related. The similarity between these two methods is accentuated when they are properly expressed in a common matrix form. It is shown that the gridding algorithm can be considered an approximation to the least squares method. The optimal gridding parameters are defined as the ones which yield the minimum approximation error. These parameters are calculated by minimizing the norm of an approximation error matrix. This problem is studied and solved in the general form of approximation using linearly structured matrices. This method not only supports more general forms of the gridding algorithm, it can also be used to accelerate the reconstruction techniques from incomplete data. The application of this method to a case of two-dimensional (2-D) spiral magnetic resonance imaging shows a reduction of more than 4 dB in the average reconstruction error.
View details for Web of Science ID 000088106800006
View details for PubMedID 10909926
A variable-density k-space sampling method is proposed to reduce aliasing artifacts in MR images. Because most of the energy of an image is concentrated around the k-space center, aliasing artifacts will contain mostly low-frequency components if the k-space is uniformly undersampled. On the other hand, because the outer k-space region contains little energy, undersampling that region will not contribute severe aliasing artifacts. Therefore, a variable-density trajectory may sufficiently sample the central k-space region to reduce low-frequency aliasing artifacts and may undersample the outer k-space region to reduce scan time and to increase resolution. In this paper, the variable-density sampling method was implemented for both spiral imaging and two-dimensional Fourier transform (2DFT) imaging. Simulations, phantom images and in vivo cardiac images show that this method can significantly reduce the total energy of aliasing artifacts. In general, this method can be applied to all types of k-space sampling trajectories.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085559100018
View details for PubMedID 10725889
The quality of spiral images depends on the accuracy of the k-space sampling locations. Although newer gradient systems can provide more accurate gradient waveforms, the sampling positions can be significantly distorted by timing misregistration between data acquisition and gradient systems. Even after the timing of data acquisition is tuned, minor residual errors can still cause shading artifacts which are problematic for quantitative MR applications such as phase-contrast flow quantitation. These timing errors can ideally be corrected by measuring the actual k-space trajectory, but trajectory measurement requires additional data acquisition and scan time. Therefore, off-centered spiral trajectories which are more robust against timing errors are proposed and applied to the phase-contrast method. The new trajectories turn shading artifacts into a slowly varying linear phase in reconstructed images without affecting the magnitude of images.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085559100017
View details for PubMedID 10725888
In many applications of dynamic MR imaging, only a portion of the field-of-view (FOV) exhibits considerable variations in time. In such cases, a prior knowledge of the static part of the image allows a partial-FOV reconstruction of the dynamic section using only a fraction of the raw data. This method of reconstruction generally results in higher temporal resolution, because the scan time for partial-FOV data is shorter. The fidelity of this reconstruction technique depends, among other factors, on the accuracy of the prior information of the static section. This information is usually derived from the reconstructed images at previous time frames. This data, however, is normally corrupted by the motion artifact Because the temporal frequency contents of the motion artifact is very similar to that of the dynamic section, a temporal low-pass filter can efficiently remove this artifact from the static data. The bandwidth of the filter can be obtained from the rate of variations inside and outside the dynamic area. In general, when the temporal bandwidth is not spatially uniform, a bank of low-pass filters can provide a proper suppression of the motion artifact outside the dynamic section. This reconstruction technique is adapted for spiral acquisition and is successfully applied to cardiac fluoroscopy, doubling the temporal resolution.
View details for Web of Science ID 000085559100015
View details for PubMedID 10725886
View details for Web of Science ID 000085209701735
A real-time interactive color flow MRI system capable of rapidly visualizing cardiac and vascular flow is described. Interleaved spiral phase contrast datasets are acquired continuously, while real-time gridding and phase differencing is used to compute density and velocity maps. These maps are then displayed using a color overlay similar to what is used by ultrasound. For cardiac applications, 6 independent images/sec are acquired with in-plane resolution of 2.4 mm over a 20 cm field of view (FOV). Sliding window reconstruction achieves display rates up to 18 images/sec. Appropriate tradeoffs are made for other applications. Flow phantom studies indicate this technique accurately measures velocities up to 2 m/sec, and accurately captures real-time velocity waveforms (comparable to continuous wave ultrasound). In vivo studies indicate this technique is useful for imaging cardiac and vascular flow, particularly valvular regurgitation. Arbitrary scan planes can be quickly localized, and flow measured in any direction.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084993500012
View details for PubMedID 10680689
A graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed which enables interactive feedback and control to the real-time diminishing variance algorithm (DVA). This interactivity allows the user to set scan parameters, view scan statistics, and view image updates during the course of the scan. In addition, the DVA has been extended to simultaneously reduce motion artifacts in three dimensions using three orthogonal navigators. Preliminary in vivo studies indicate that these improvements to the standard DVA allow for significantly improved consistency and robustness in eliminating respiratory motion artifacts from MR images, particularly when imaging the coronary arteries.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086614000001
View details for PubMedID 10784279
A new projection reconstruction technique utilizes the oversampling of low spatial frequencies to estimate and correct for off-resonance effects. Interleaved spokes are acquired at one of two different echo times. From separated early-TE and late-TE raw data, two one-quarter resolution images are reconstructed and a one-quarter resolution field map is computed. Multifrequency reconstruction with all the data is then used to simultaneously correct for off-resonance and compensate for the difference in echo times. Resulting images obtained on phantoms and in vivo demonstrate significantly reduced off-resonance artifact without the acquisition of a separate field map.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084538500019
View details for PubMedID 10642743
A new, fast, spectrally selective steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging method is presented. Combining k-space data from SSFP sequences with certain phase schedules of radiofrequency excitation pulses permits manipulation of the spectral selectivity of the image. For example, lipid and water can be resolved. The contrast of each image depends on both T1 and T2, and the relative contribution of the two relaxation mechanisms to image contrast can be controlled by adjusting the flip angle. Several potential applications of the technique, referred to as linear combination steady-state free precession (LCSSFP), are demonstrated: fast musculoskeletal, abdominal, angiographic, and brain imaging.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084538500010
View details for PubMedID 10642734
To reduce the scan time of time of flight or phase contrast angiography sequences, fast three-dimensional k-space trajectories can be employed. The best 3D trajectory depends on tolerable scan time, readout time, geometric flexibility, flow/motion properties and others. A formalism for flow/motion sensitivity comparison based on the velocity k-space behavior is presented. It consists in finding the velocity k-space position as a function of the spatial k-space position. The trajectories are compared graphically by their velocity k-space maps, with simulations and with an objective computed index. The flow/motion properties of various 3D trajectories (cones, spiral-pr hybrid, spherical stack of spirals, 3DFT, 3D echo-planar, and shells) were determined. In terms of flow/motion sensitivity the cones trajectory is the best, however, it is difficult to use it for anisotropic resolutions or fields of view. Tolerating more flow sensitivity, the stack of spirals trajectory offers more geometric flexibility.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084082200007
View details for PubMedID 10609995
View details for Web of Science ID 000083417100841
View details for Web of Science ID 000083417102400
View details for Web of Science ID 000083417102747
A new fast, spectrally selective imaging method called fluctuating equilibrium magnetic resonance is presented. With all gradients refocused over a repetition interval, certain phase schedules of radiofrequency excitation pulses produce an equilibrium magnetization that fluctuates from excitation to excitation, thus permitting simultaneous acquisition of several images with different contrast features. For example, lipid and water images can be rapidly acquired. The effective echo time can be adjusted using the flip angle, thus providing control over the T(2) contribution to the contrast. Several applications of the technique are presented, including fast musculoskeletal, abdominal, breast, and brain imaging, in addition to MR angiography. A technique for combining lipid and water images generated with this sequence for angiography is described and other potential applications are suggested. Magn Reson Med 42:876-883, 1999.
View details for Web of Science ID 000083447900006
View details for PubMedID 10542345
The internal structure of atherosclerotic-plaque lesions may be a useful predictor of which lesions will rupture and cause sudden events such as heart attack or stroke. With lipid and flow suppression, we obtained high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) images of atherosclerotic plaque in vivo that show the cap thickness and core size of the lesions. 3D GRASE was used because it provides flexible T(2) contrast and good resistance to off-resonance artifacts. While 2D RARE has similar properties, its resolution in the slice-select direction, which is important because of the irregular geometry of atherosclerotic lesions, is limited by achievable slice-excitation profiles. Also, 2D imaging generally achieves lower SNR than 3D imaging because, for SNR purposes, 3D image data is averaged over all the slices of a corresponding multislice 2D dataset. Although 3D RARE has many of the advantages of 3D GRASE, it requires a longer scan time because it uses more refocusing pulses to acquire the same amount of data. Finally, cardiac gating is an important part of our imaging sequence, but can make the imaging time quite long. To obtain reasonable scan times, a 2D excitation pulse was used to restrict the field of view. Magn Reson Med 42:762-771, 1999.
View details for Web of Science ID 000082944400019
View details for PubMedID 10502766
In this report, a flow-quantification method using Fourier velocity encoding (FVE) with limited spatial and velocity resolution is presented. The total flow rate in a vessel corresponds to the first moment of the velocity histogram of spins in the vessel, whereas the spin density of flowing spins is the normalization constant. Because the measured histogram using FVE is distorted by RF saturation effects, the RF saturation effects are first estimated and then accurately compensated by acquiring five velocity-encoded images. The spatial resolution in each image can be relatively low because all stationary spins vanish in the resultant flow map. In a phantom study, the errors in measured flow rates were within +/-10% even when the pixel size was greater than the vessel size. This method was also successfully applied to measure flow in the femoral artery. In general, this method constitutes a basis for analyzing multiple velocity-encoded images and is particularly useful for quantifying slow flow or flow in small vessels. Magn Reson Med 42:682-690, 1999.
View details for Web of Science ID 000082944400009
View details for PubMedID 10502756
The high incidence of osteoarthritis and the recent advent of several new surgical and non-surgical treatment approaches have motivated the development of quantitative techniques to assess cartilage loss. Although magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is the most accurate non-invasive diagnostic modality for evaluating articular cartilage, improvements in spatial resolution, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) would be valuable. Cartilage presents an imaging challenge due to its short T(2) relaxation time and its low water content compared with surrounding materials. Current methods sacrifice cartilage signal brightness for contrast between cartilage and surrounding tissue such as bone, bone marrow, and joint fluid. A new technique for imaging articular cartilage uses driven equilibrium Fourier transform (DEFT), a method of enhancing signal strength without waiting for full T(1) recovery. Compared with other methods, DEFT imaging provides a good combination of bright cartilage and high contrast between cartilage and surrounding tissue. Both theoretical predictions and images show that DEFT is a valuable method for imaging articular cartilage when compared with spoiled gradient-recalled acquisition in the steady state (SPGR) or fast spin echo (FSE). The cartilage SNR for DEFT is as high as that of either FSE or SPGR, while the cartilage-synovial fluid CNR of DEFT is as much as four times greater than that of FSE or SPGR. Implemented as a three-dimensional sequence, DEFT can achieve coverage comparable to that of other sequences in a similar scan time. Magn Reson Med 42:695-703, 1999.
View details for Web of Science ID 000082944400011
View details for PubMedID 10502758
Phase contrast velocity imaging is a standard method for accurate in vivo flow measurement. One drawback, however, is that it lengthens the scan time (or reduces the achievable temporal resolution) because one has to acquire two or more images with different flow sensitivities and subtract their phases to produce the final velocity image. Without this step, non-flow-related phase variations will give rise to an erroneous, spatially varying background velocity. In this paper, we introduce a novel phase contrast velocity imaging technique that requires the acquisition of only a single image. The idea is to estimate the background phase variation from the flow-encoded image itself and then have it removed, leaving only the flow-related phase to generate a corrected flow image. This technique is sensitive to flow in one direction and requires 50% less scan time than conventional phase contrast velocity imaging. Phantom and in vivo results were obtained and compared with those of the conventional method, demonstrating the new method's effectiveness in measuring flow in various vessels of the body. Magn Reson Med 42:704-713, 1999.
View details for Web of Science ID 000082944400012
View details for PubMedID 10502759
A cardiac motion compensation method using magnetic resonance signal-based triggering is presented. The method interlaces a triggering pulse sequence with an imaging sequence. The triggering sequence is designed to measure aortic blood velocity, from which cardiac phase can be inferred. The triggering sequence is executed repeatedly and the acquired data processed after each sequence iteration. When the desired phase of the cardiac cycle is detected, data are acquired using the imaging sequence. A signal-processing unit of a conventional scanner is used to process the triggering data in real time and issue triggering commands. Alternatively, a workstation, with a bus adaptor, can access data as they are acquired, process and display the data, and issue triggering commands. With a graphical user interface, the triggering pulse sequence and data-processing techniques can be modified instantaneously to optimize triggering. The technique is demonstrated with coronary artery imaging using both conventional two-dimensional Fourier transform scans and spiral trajectories.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081433800012
View details for PubMedID 10398953
In this work, three-dimensional (3D) spiral imaging has been utilized for magnetic resonance coronary angiography. Spiral-based 3D techniques can dramatically reduce imaging time requirements compared with 3D Fourier Transform imaging. The method developed here utilized a "stack of spirals" trajectory, to traverse 3D k-space rapidly. Both thick-slab volumes encompassing the entire coronary tree with isotropic resolution and thin-slab volumes targeted to a particular vessel of interest were acquired. Respiratory compensation was achieved using the diminishing variance algorithm. T2-prepared contrast was also applied in some cases to improve contrast between vessel and myocardium, while off-resonance blurring was minimized by applying a linear correction to the acquired data. Images from healthy volunteers were displayed using a curved reformatting technique to view long segments of vessel in a single projection. The results demonstrate that this 3D spiral technique is capable of producing high-quality coronary magnetic resonance angiograms.
View details for Web of Science ID 000081422500013
View details for PubMedID 10371449
Flow-related artifacts remain a significant concern for magnetic resonance (MR) angiography because their appearance in angiograms adversely impacts accuracy in evaluation of arterial stenoses. In this paper, a half-pulse excitation scheme for improved two-dimensional time-of-flight (2D TOF) angiography is described. The proposed method eliminates the need for gradient moment nulling (of all orders), providing significant reductions in spin dephasing and consequent artifactual signal loss. Furthermore, because the post-excitation refocusing and flow compensation gradients are obviated, the achievable echo time is dramatically shortened. The half-pulse excitation is employed in conjunction with a fast radial-line acquisition, allowing ultra-short echo times on the order of 250-300 microsec. Radial-line acquisition methods also provide additional benefits for flow imaging: effective mitigation of pulsatile flow artifacts, full k-space coverage, and decreased scan times. The half-pulse excitation/radial-line sequence demonstrated improved performance in initial clinical evaluations of the carotid bifurcation when compared with a conventional 2D TOF sequence.
View details for Web of Science ID 000079317800023
View details for PubMedID 10204884
View details for Web of Science ID 000083768500043
View details for Web of Science ID 000085322100017
Coronary arteries are segmented from the blood pool using mathematical morphology operations from a 3D magnetic resonance spiral acquisition on a continuously breathing healthy volunteer. The segmented volume is maximal intensity projected at different views to yield coronary angiograms showing the left anterior descending artery (LAD), right coronary artery (RCA), and left circumflex artery (LCX). Magnetic resonance coronary angiography provides a retrospective rotating view of the coronary artery tree that complements oblique reformatted sections.
View details for Web of Science ID 000076496700008
View details for PubMedID 9797152
View details for Web of Science ID 000076594402722
View details for Web of Science ID 000076594404506
For quantitative velocity measurement, we have developed a technique that acquires full velocity spectra without cardiac gating. After a cylindrical excitation restricts imaging to one spatial dimension, data are acquired while an oscillating gradient is played out. After each excitation, an image of velocity versus spatial location is obtained. For a given spatial location, a series of these images can be used to form an image of velocity versus time. Acquisition times are much shorter than for phase-contrast imaging or Fourier-encoded velocity imaging, obviating the need for cardiac gating. Although a two-shot version of this technique has been presented previously, we have developed a one-shot version that offers higher temporal resolution for a given velocity resolution and superior off-resonance properties.
View details for Web of Science ID 000076080900012
View details for PubMedID 9771577
A number of different eye disorders with the presence of early-onset glaucoma as a component of the phenotype have been mapped to human chromosome 6p25. These disorders have been postulated to be either allelic to each other or associated with a cluster of tightly linked genes. We have identified two primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) patients with chromosomal anomalies involving 6p25. In order to identify a gene involved in PCG, the chromosomal breakpoints in a patient with a balanced translocation between 6p25 and 13q22 were cloned. Cloning of the 6p25 breakpoint led to the identification of two candidate genes based on proximity to the breakpoint. One of these, FKHL7, encoding a forkhead transcription factor, is in close proximity to the breakpoint in the balanced translocation patient and is deleted in a second PCG patient with partial 6p monosomy. Furthermore, FKHL7 was found to harbour mutations in patients diagnosed with Rieger anomaly (RA), Axenfeld anomaly (AA) and iris hypoplasia (IH). This study demonstrates that mutations in FKHL7 cause a spectrum of glaucoma phenotypes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000073865100020
View details for PubMedID 9620769
View details for Web of Science ID A1997YC88000731
A magnetization-prepared sequence, T2-Prep-IR, exploits T1, T2, and chemical shift differences to suppress background tissues relative to arterial blood. The resulting flow-independent angiograms depict vessels with any orientation and flow velocity. No extrinsic contrast agent is required. Muscle is the dominant source of background signal in normal volunteers. However, long-T2 deep venous blood and nonvascular fluids such as edema also contribute background signal in some patients. Three sets of imaging parameters are described to address patient-specific contrast requirements. A rapid, spiral-based, three-dimensional readout is utilized to generate high-resolution angiograms of the lower extremities. Comparisons with x-ray angiography and two-dimensional time-of-flight angiography indicate that this flow-independent technique has unique capabilities to accurately depict stenoses and to visualize slow flow and in-plane vessels.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XW16200001
View details for PubMedID 9339435
A real-time interactive MRI system capable of localizing coronary arteries and imaging arrhythmic hearts in real-time is described. Non-2DFT acquisition strategies such as spiral-interleaf, spiral-ring, and circular echo-planar imaging provide short scan times on a conventional scanner. Real-time gridding reconstruction at 8-20 images/s is achieved by distributing the reconstruction on general-purpose UNIX workstations. An X-windows application provides interactive control. A six-interleaf spiral sequence is used for cardiac imaging and can acquire six images/s. A sliding window reconstruction achieves display rates of 16-20 images/s. This allows cardiac images to be acquired in real-time, with minimal motion and flow artifacts, and without breath holding or cardiac gating. Abdominal images are acquired at over 2.5 images/s with spiral-ring or circular echo-planar sequences. Reconstruction rates are 8-10 images/s. Rapid localization in the abdomen is demonstrated with the spiral-ring acquisition, whereas peristaltic motion in the small bowel is well visualized using the circular echo-planar sequence.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XW16200002
View details for PubMedID 9339436
Reliable fat suppression is especially important with fast imaging techniques such as echo-planar (EPI), spiral, and fast spin-echo (FSE) T2-weighted imaging. Spectral-spatial excitation has a number of advantages over spectrally selective presaturation techniques, including better resilience to B0 and B1 inhomogeneity. In this paper, a FSE sequence using a spectral-spatial excitation pulse for superior fat suppression is presented. Previous problems maintaining the CPMG condition are solved using simple methods to accurately program radio-frequency (RF) phase. Next an analysis shows how B0 eddy currents can reduce fat suppression effectiveness for spectral-spatial pulses designed for conventional gradient systems. Three methods to compensate for the degradation are provided. Both the causes of the degradation and the compensation techniques apply equally to gradient-recalled applications using these pulses. These problems do not apply to pulses designed for high-speed gradient systems. The spectral-spatial FSE sequence delivers clinically lower fat signal with better uniformity than spectrally selective pre-saturation techniques.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XN62100006
View details for PubMedID 9256098
We have developed a technique to accurately null the longitudinal magnetization (Mz) of background material. This suppression involves first saturating the longitudinal magnetization (Mz) of a region, and then applying several nonselective inversions. The inversions are timed relative to the saturation such that Mz is nulled across a broad range of T1 at a predetermined time after the initial saturation. B1 and B0 inhomogeneity, which could lead to inaccurate suppression, are dealt with by the combination of a multiple tip saturation sequence and four adiabatic inversion pulses. The suppression sequence can be used to form projective angiograms by selectively tagging the imaging region with the saturation pulse. After the inversions are played out, a projection taken through the tag region when Mz is nulled will only contain signal from blood that has flown into the region after the saturation. Since only two dimensions are acquired, the technique can acquire gated projection angiograms in reasonable scan times. Representative inflow MIR angiograms of the carotid arteries and renal arteries show excellent background suppression.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XB90000014
View details for PubMedID 9178242
Spiral imaging has a number of advantages for fast imaging, including an efficient use of gradient hardware. However, inhomogeneity -induced blurring is proportional to the data acquisition duration. In this paper, we combine spiral data acquisition with a RARE echo train. This allows a long data acquisition interval per excitation, while limiting the effects of inhomogeneity. Long spiral k-space trajectories are partitioned into smaller, annular ring trajectories. Each of these annular rings is acquired during echoes of a RARE echo train. The RARE refocusing RF pulses periodically refocus off-resonant spins while building a long data acquisition. We describe both T2-weighted single excitation and interleaved RARE spiral sequences. A typical sequence acquires a complete data set in three excitations (32 cm FOV, 192 x 192 matrix). At a TR = 2000 ms, we can average two acquisitions in an easy breath-hold interval. A multifrequency reconstruction algorithm minimizes the effects of any off-resonant spins. Though this algorithm needs a field map, we demonstrate how signal averaging can provide the necessary phase data while increasing SNR. The field map creation causes no scan time penalty and essentially no loss in SNR efficiency. Multiple slice, 14-s breath-hold scans acquired on a conventional gradient system demonstrate the performance.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WQ66700015
View details for PubMedID 9094081
Echo-planar imaging (EPI) is very susceptible to flow artifacts. Two ways to improve its flow properties are presented. First, "partial flyback" is proposed to reduce artifacts arising from flow in the readout direction. Near the center of k-space, only the even echoes of the EPI echo-train are used. Partial flyback is shown to improve the readout-flow properties at the expense of a slight worsening of the phase-encode flow and off-resonance properties. We recommend that the flyback region acquire 95% of the energy in k-space. Second, "inside-out" EPI is used to reduce artifacts arising from flow in the phase-encode direction. Data collection begins at the center of k-space, with separate interleaves to acquire the top and bottom, halves of k-space. Partial flyback is combined with partial-Fourier EPI and inside-out EPI. Partial-flyback inside-out EPI has worse off-resonance properties than partial-flyback partial-Fourier EPI but demonstrates better flow properties and does not require partial k-space reconstruction.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WJ66400018
View details for PubMedID 9055235
For flow imaging applications, radial-line k-space acquisition methods offer advantages over conventional 2DFT methods. Specifically, radial-line acquisition methods mitigate artifacts resulting from pulsatile flow while offering a potential reduction in scan times. In this paper, radial-line and 2DFT acquisitions are compared in a two-dimensional time-of-flight angiography sequence. The twisting radial-line (TwiRL) trajectory, a variant of 2D projection reconstruction, is used to represent the family of radial-line trajectories. In both phantom and in vivo studies, the TwiRL images demonstrate improved vessel depiction including a more uniform signal intensity and better delineation of the vasculature in comparison with images obtained via the 2DFT method.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WD27200020
View details for PubMedID 9001154
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VN11902427
A fast and robust method for correcting magnetic resonance image distortion due to field inhomogeneity is proposed and applied to spiral k-space scanning. The method consists of acquiring a local field map, finding the best fit to a linear map, and using it to deblur the image distortions due to local frequency variations. The linear field map is determined using a maximum likelihood estimator with weights proportional to the pixel intensity. The method requires little additional computation and is robust in low signal regions and near abrupt field changes. Additionally, it can be used in combination with other deblurring methods. The application of this method is illustrated in conjunction with a multislice, T2-weighted, breath-held spiral scan of the liver.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996TT42200020
View details for PubMedID 8622593
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TB48001487
A technique has been developed whereby motion can be detected in real time during the acquisition of data. This enables the implementation of several algorithms to reduce or eliminate motion effects from an image as it is being acquired. One such algorithm previously described is the acceptance/rejection method. This paper deals with another real-time algorithm called the diminishing variance algorithm (DVA). With this method, a complete set of preliminary data is acquired along with information about the relative motion position of each frame of data. After all the preliminary data are acquired, the position information is used to determine which data frames are most corrupted by motion. Frames of data are then reacquired, starting with the most corrupted one. The position information is continually updated in an iterative process; therefore, each subsequent reacquisition is always done on the worst frame of data. The algorithm has been implemented on several different types of sequences. Preliminary in vivo studies indicate that motion artifacts are dramatically reduced.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995RR68700018
View details for PubMedID 7500881
To reduce the scan time in three-dimensional (3D) imaging, the authors consider alternative trajectories for traversing k-space. They differ from traditional 3D trajectories, such as 3DFT, in that they employ time-varying gradients allowing longer readouts and in turn a reduced scan time. Some of these trajectories reduce by an order of magnitude the number of excitations compared with 3DFT and provide flexibility for trading off signal-to-noise ratio for scan time. Other concerns are the minimum echo time and flow/motion properties. As examples, the authors show two applications: A 3D data set of the head (field of view of 30 x 30 x 7.5 cm and resolution of 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 mm) acquired in 56 s using a stack of spirals in 3D k-space; and a 3D movie of the heart (20 x 20 x 20 cm field of view, 2 x 2 x 2 mm resolution, and 16 time frames per cardiac cycle) acquired in 11 min using a cones trajectory.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QV05800009
View details for PubMedID 7596269
A magnetization-prepared, T2-weighted sequence (T2 Prep) is used to suppress muscle and venous structures. When combined with lipid suppression, this technique improves the visualization of the coronary arteries. T2 Prep was designed to be rebust in the presence of flow as well as B0 and B1 inhomogeneities and may be combined with virtually any imaging technique. Here, it is implemented with both a single-slice spiral acquisition and a multi-slice spiral method that acquires up to 15 slices in a single breath-holding interval.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QV05800014
View details for PubMedID 7596274
A velocity k-space formalism facilitates the analysis of flow effects for imaging sequences involving time-varying gradients such as echo-planar and spiral. For each sequence, the velocity k-space trajectory can be represented by kv(kr); that is, its velocity-frequency (kv) position as a function of spatial-frequency (kr) position. In an echo-planar sequence, kv is discontinuous and asymmetric. However, in a spiral sequence, kv is smoothly varying, circularly symmetric, and small near the kr origin. To compare the effects of these trajectory differences, simulated images were generated by computing the k-space values for an in-plane vessel with parabolic flow. Whereas the resulting echo-planar images demonstrate distortions and ghosting that depend on the vessel orientation, the spiral images exhibit minimal artifacts.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995QP45500013
View details for PubMedID 7776887
View details for Web of Science ID A1995BD41X00569
A technique has been developed whereby motion can be detected in real time during the acquisition of data. This enables the implementation of an algorithm to accept or reject and reacquire data during a scan. Frames of data with motion are rejected and reacquired on the fly so that by the end of the scan, a complete motion-free data set has been acquired. The algorithm has been implemented on several different types of sequences. Preliminary in vivo studies indicate that motion artifacts are dramatically reduced.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PN57500012
View details for PubMedID 7808265
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PP51800350
Methods for body MR angiography must contend with problems of motion, complex flow patterns and geometrics, and suppression of undesired material, while striving for adequate spatial resolution and signal-to-noise. Fortunately, MR offers a wide array of imaging options to tackle this formidable set of challenges, making this field an active area of research and development.
View details for PubMedID 7584218
The accurate measurement of flow velocity has long been a subject of NMR research. In the field of medical imaging, a variety of techniques primarily based on the principle of Fourier encoding have been described. Due to time constraints, necessary trade-offs exist between spatial versus velocity spectral resolution. In general, either the average velocity of individual pixels is displayed or velocity spectral determinations are made at the cost of spatial localization. The recent development of multidimensional excitation pulses makes spatial localization possible during the excitation phase of the pulse sequences. This approach, coupled with time varying gradient readout, can be used to obtain single-shot localized velocity spectra. Using these concepts, we have obtained in vivo real-time measurements of localized velocity spectra on our clinical imager.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LV99700018
View details for PubMedID 8412614
A technique is presented for collecting the spin velocity distribution as a function of position and time. It uses a multidimensional excitation pulse to select a cylinder, giving localization in two dimensions. Resolution in the third spatial dimension is achieved in the readout. During readout, an oscillating gradient encodes the acquired data in both one spatial dimension (x) and one velocity dimension (v). Two acquisitions (42 ms each) are needed to get a complete coverage of kx--kv space, which makes this technique real-time. The data is interpolated from the nonuniformly sampled kx--kv space to a Cartesian frame with a gridding scheme to take advantage of the Fast Fourier Transform. The technique was successfully applied to phantoms and normal volunteers, giving reasonable real-time measurements of velocity.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LP88200008
View details for PubMedID 8366802
In theory, multidimensional pulses can be designed to be selective in any number of dimensions. In practice, available gradient power has enforced a limit to two dimensions. We show here that three-dimensional pi pulses are feasible on commercial imaging machines provided that the range of off-resonance frequencies are limited.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993KJ34900001
View details for PubMedID 8419739
View details for Web of Science ID A1993BY41M00015
A flow-independent method for imaging the coronary arteries within a breath-hold on a standard whole-body MR imager was developed. The technique is based on interleaved spiral k-space scanning and forms a cardiac-gated image in 20 heartbeats. The spiral readouts have good flow properties and generate minimal flow artifacts. The oblique slices are positioned so that the arteries are in the plane and so that the chamber blood does not obscure the arteries. Fat suppression by a spectral-spatial pulse improves the visualization of the arteries.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992KB92200003
View details for PubMedID 1461123
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JT66002021
In vivo 1H conventional NMR image contrast generation usually relies on the macroscopic T1 and T2 relaxation parameters of the tissues of interest. Recently cross-relaxation related image contrast has been reported by Wolff and Balaban in animal models. Due primarily to the broad lineshape of the intended saturation spin pool and the use of off-resonance irradiation, high specific absorption rate and an auxiliary RF amplifier have been necessary to produce these images. The relatively long spin-lattice relaxation property of this spin pool, however, suggests the use of pulse methods to achieve saturation. In this paper, we show that short-T2 spin pools can be selectively saturated with short intense RF pulses. Cross-relaxation time constants can be measured using the technique of saturation recovery. In vivo magnetization-transfer-weighted images can be produced using pulses on commercial whole-body imagers without additional hardware.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JH50500004
View details for PubMedID 1325023
For several non-2D Fourier transform imaging methods, off-resonant reconstruction does not just cause geometric distortion, but changes the shape of the point spread function and causes blurring. This effect is well known for projection reconstruction and spiral k-space scanning sequences. We introduce here a method that automatically removes blur introduced by magnetic field inhomogeneity and susceptibility without using a resonant frequency map, making these imaging methods more useful. In this method, the raw data are modulated to several different frequencies and reconstructed to create a series of base images. Determination of degree of blur is done by calculating a focusing measure for each point in each base image and a composite image is then constructed using only the unblurred regions from each base image. This method has been successfully applied to phantom and in vivo images using projection-reconstruction and spiral-scan sequences.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992HX35600009
View details for PubMedID 1614315
A problem with magnetic resonance angiograms of vessels containing irregular flow is that flow-induced dephasing can result in voids in the image. These void regions are susceptible to misinterpretation as regions of stenosis or other vessel pathology. Flow-induced dephasing can be minimized by using radial lines to cover k space. However, radial lines provide a very nonuniform, and hence, inefficient, coverage of k space. By twisting the outer portions of the radial trajectories, undistorted images of very rapid and turbulent flow can be obtained with a reasonable number of RF excitations.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992HT49100012
View details for PubMedID 1593947
Using the technique of separable k-space excitation, we have designed a two-dimensional selective adiabatic pulse that inverts magnetization from a square region in the xy plane with insensitivity to RF variations. We also have designed a two-dimensional adiabatic pulse that inverts selectively in frequency and in one spatial dimension. The pulses should be useful for both MR imaging and spectroscopy. We present experimental results to demonstrate that the two-dimensional adiabatic pulses are feasible on commercial MR imaging systems.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992HM14900010
View details for PubMedID 1569869
We have developed an enhancement of selective inversion recovery that allows us to obtain high-resolution angiograms in reduced scan time. By applying several read pulses following each tagging inversion pulse, we can obtain several phase encodes in each cardiac cycle, thereby reducing the total scan time required for a complete image. Using this technique, high-resolution angiograms can be obtained in as little as 15 s. Because the phase encodes are collected in short bursts separated by long pauses, care must be taken to maintain uniform signal weighting across phase-encoding views and avoid ghosting. We use an increasing flip-angle sequence to equalize signal level weighting across the readouts. The phase encodes are collected in a special order to minimize ghosting. A postprocessing technique is used to further reduce signal nonuniformity between phase encodes. This fast angiography technique can significantly reduce artifacts due to patient motion during scanning and is especially useful for imaging vasculature in regions of the body where respiratory motion is a problem.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992HA59900011
View details for PubMedID 1734172
In flow-imaging experiments with 2-D Fourier transform sequences, the time difference between phase encoding and readout leads to a potentially misleading displacement artifact. This artifact arises in regions of rapid flow and high shear, and manifests as an intensity distortion in addition to a bulk shift. We have studied methods of mitigating the artifact, including offset-echo acquisition, backward-evolving phase encoding, moment-compensated phase encoding, and projection-reconstruction imaging. Experiments on flow phantoms verified the nature and reduction of this displacement artifact. Of the four methods studied, the projection-reconstruction sequence proved to be the most effective, completely eliminating the artifact.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GV21100043
View details for PubMedID 1812381
When time-varying gradients are used for imaging, the off-resonance behavior does not just cause geometric distortion as is the case with spin-warp imaging, but changes the shape of the impulse response and causes blurring. This effect is well known for projection reconstruction and spiral k-space scanning sequences. The authors introduce a reconstruction and homogeneity correction method to correct for the zeroth order effects of inhomogeneity using prior knowledge of the inhomogeneity. In this method, the data are segmented according to collection time, reconstructed using some fast, linear algorithm, correlated for inhomogeneity, and then superimposed to yield a homogeneity corrected image. This segmented method is compared to a conjugate phase reconstruction in terms of degree of correction and execution time. The authors apply this method to in vivo images using projection-reconstruction and spiral-scan sequences.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GW45200018
View details for PubMedID 18222870
In the technique known as gridding, the data samples are weighted for sampling density and convolved with a finite kernel, then resampled on a grid preparatory to a fast Fourier transform. The authors compare the artifact introduced into the image for various convolving functions of different sizes, including the Kaiser-Bessel window and the zero-order prolate spheroidal wave function (PSWF). They also show a convolving function that improves upon the PSWF in some circumstances.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991GH74400029
View details for PubMedID 18222850
Magnetic detection of complex images in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is immune to the effects of incidental phase variations, although in some applications information is lost or images are degraded. It is suggested that synchronous detection or demodulation can be used in MRI systems in place of magnitude detection to provide complete suppression of undesired quadrature components, to preserve polarity and phase information, and to eliminate the biases and reduction in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast in low SNR images. The incidental phase variations in an image are removed through the use of a homodyne demodulation reference, which is derived from the image or the object itself. Synchronous homodyne detection has been applied to the detection of low SNR images, the reconstruction of partial k-space images, the simultaneous detection of water and lipid signals in quadrature, and the preservation of polarity in inversion-recovery images.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FM22800006
View details for PubMedID 18222812
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FB62900016
Using a fast version of selective inversion recovery, we have obtained coronary angiograms of normal volunteers showing the proximal portions of the left coronary artery. Blood is tagged in the aortic root at end systole using a 2D inversion pulse. After a wash-in time of 300-600 ms, the coronary vessels are imaged with a 2- to 3-cm-thick slab in either axial or oblique projection. The scan is completed within a breathhold in 24 heartbeats.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FF36100015
View details for PubMedID 2046523
An overview of the Shinnar-Le Roux (SLR) algorithm is presented. It is shown how the performance of SLR pulses can be very accurately specified analytically. This reveals how to design a pulse that produces a specified slice profile and allows the pulse designer to trade off analytically the parameters describing the pulse performance. Several examples are presented to illustrate the more important tradeoffs. These include linear-phase and minimum- and maximum-phase pulses. Linear-phase pulses can be refocused with a gradient reversal and can be used as spin-echo pulses. Minimum- and maximum-phase pulses have better slice profiles, but cannot be completely refocused.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991FD82700006
View details for PubMedID 18222800
We introduce a selective adiabatic pulse sequence suitable for generating selective spin-echoes for both MR imaging and spectroscopy. The technique is simple; one uses the echo generated by any pair of identical selective adiabatic inversion pulses. The nonlinear phase across the slice is compensated perfectly by the second pi pulse. This compensation is immune to RF inhomogeneity and nonlinearity. For imaging applications, we concentrate on a reduced-power version of the pulse sequence in which time is traded off variably for RF amplitude in the presence of a time-varying gradient. This technique, known as variable-rate excitation, mildly degrades the off-resonant slice profile when applied to amplitude-modulated pulses. We present theoretical explanations and experimental results that show that the variable-rate adiabatic pulses are immune to off-resonant degradation of the magnitude normally encountered in MR imaging.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991EZ54700004
View details for PubMedID 2062239
The performance of current, flow-based sequences for imaging vasculature using MR is severely restricted in regions with inherently slow flow. We address this problem with a flow-independent imaging method. Specifically, we generate projection images of blood in the limbs while suppressing signal from all other tissues (primarily skeletal muscle, bone marrow, and subcutaneous fat) using a flow-compensated, water-selective, short TI inversion recovery sequence with a long echo time. We experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of this sequence and present in vivo results clearly demonstrating the method's potential.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991ET38600016
View details for PubMedID 2067389
View details for Web of Science ID A1991BT95P00002
We have developed a variation of selective inversion recovery (SIR) angiography that allows us to obtain a collection of several angiograms within the same acquisition time previously required to obtain a single image. In basic SIR, a single readout is performed after the tagging inversion pulse. In multiple-readout SIR, a succession of readout pulses is applied following the inversion pulse. By varying the gradients appropriately during the successive readouts, we can obtain a set of multiple projection-angle angiograms, or, by appropriately spacing the readouts throughout the cardiac cycle, we can obtain a set of time-resolved angiograms. This technique allows us to obtain additional spatial or temporal information without increasing total scan time. A sequence of increasing flip-angle read pulses is used to maintain a constant signal level across the images. A trade-off exists between SNR and the number of images acquired.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991ET38600026
View details for PubMedID 2067399
Using a k-space interpretation of small-tip excitation, a single excitation pulse has been designed that is simultaneously selective in space and resonant frequency. An analytic expression for the response of this pulse has been derived. The pulse has been implemented on a 1.5-T imaging system. The pulse has been applied to a rapid gradient-echo imaging sequence that forms both water and fat images within a breath-holding interval. These rapid images are free of the chemical shift artifacts at organ boundaries that typically afflict conventional rapid images. The pulse can be applied to a variety of other sequences, such as multislice water/fat sequences and rapid k-space scanning sequences.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990DT31800010
View details for PubMedID 2392053
Time-of-flight effects depend on the displacement of blood with respect to a region of excitation. When combined with static material suppression and projection imaging, time-of-flight effects provide a flexible means of flow sensitization for magnetic resonance (MR) angiography. Bolus tracking, flow enhancement by spin replacement, and selective tagging are three classes of methods being pursued for MR angiography.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990DB71400005
View details for PubMedID 2345502
We have previously reported on a dual-measurement sample-and-estimate technique for scatter correction. In this paper, we present a scatter-correction technique that uses the previous sampling scheme but a different method of estimation. To provide samples of the scatter directly, an array of small, uniformly spaced lead disks is placed immediately before the object during only the first measurement. Interpolating from these samples we form an estimate of the scatter. We subtract this estimate from the second measurement to form a scatter-corrected image. Previously, we used least-squares interpolation to estimate the scatter. Because the samples are uniformly spaced, classical sampling theory motivated the investigation of interpolating filters for scatter estimation. To form the scatter image, we convolved the sample set with two different interpolating filters--a sinc function from classical sampling theory and a jinc function because the scatter function is radially symmetric. Using phantoms as objects, we applied both filters for scatter correction in vessel imaging and energy-subtraction imaging. Initial corrected images contained an artifact attributed to aliasing. We modified the filter widths to reduce the aliasing. Although improvements in image quality were measured and the artifact was less pronounced, the artifact was still present. We present the phantom results obtained with this class of filters and discuss methods for its improved performance.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AV36900007
View details for PubMedID 2811756
Dual-energy imaging provides images in which the conspicuity of the signal of interest is heightened by selectively cancelling intervening structures. Area detectors for dual-energy imaging offer some advantages over line-scanning systems because they make efficient use of the source. Area detectors, however, collect scattered radiation. To determine the seriousness of the scatter problem and how effective scatter correction is at reducing scatter's deleterious effects, dual-energy imaging in the presence of scatter is simulated. The coefficients are modified so that the intervening material and the scatter are cancelled in some particular region of the image. Results for simulations of two clinically important material-subtraction-the bone-subtraction image and the soft-tissue-subtraction image-are presented. The effects of scatter on contrast, noise variance, and SNR for the two subtractions are examined.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AL34600003
View details for PubMedID 18230521
We detail a robust, general method for computing projection images of individual materials in a volume as linear combinations of MR projection images with different material-dependent weightings. Signal per unit volume for each material in each raw image is acquired directly for accurate cancellation of undesired, overlapping materials. The weighted sum of the input images is determined to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and minimize inhomogeneity effects in the material-selective images. We tested the implementation experimentally in both phantom and human studies, producing selective images with reasonable SNRs and material isolation. With further development of sequences to rapidly acquire input images having greater material differentiability, we envision the application of the selective projection imaging format to screening studies searching over large volumes for diseased tissues.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AH40300001
View details for PubMedID 2779407
In magnetic resonance imaging, if the object of interest is known to be spatially bounded within the image field-of-view, then the high-intensity, low spatial frequencies can be determined by postprocessing. This allows the system receiver gain to be increased, thereby decreasing the quantitation noise from the analog-to-digital converters. No imaging sequence modifications are required.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AH40300012
View details for PubMedID 2779415
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AD08800008
View details for Web of Science ID A1989AB66000009
Previous implementations of tomosynthesis used reconstruction algorithms that generate planar tomograms where the structures in one plane are visualized and the structures out of the plane are blurred. In many applications, however, the structures of interest do not reside in a single plane and it is desirable to generalize the reconstruction algorithm to generate a tomogram focused on the structure itself. A procedure that allows such a reconstruction is described, and its usefulness in focusing on a three-dimensional object is demonstrated.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989U666200007
View details for PubMedID 18230514
View details for Web of Science ID A1989U569900012
View details for Web of Science ID A1989BQ05S00285
View details for Web of Science ID A1989BQ05S00301
View details for Web of Science ID A1989T043900003
This paper describes a noise-reduction technique applicable to multiple-measurement systems. This method, known as measurement-dependent filtering (or MDF), can be used to advantage in a number of MRI applications. We present the general theory for one of these applications, material-canceled projection imaging. We discuss and show the results of MDF for material-canceled images as well as for heavily T2-weighted spin-echo images and computed T2 images. Significant improvements in SNR are demonstrated while spatial resolution is preserved.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988R338200003
View details for PubMedID 3231068
Characterizing the scatter point-spread-function (PSF) yields a model for predicting the behavior of the scatter and a PSF for deconvolution techniques that correct for scatter. Assuming the X-ray scatter is isotropic, the authors present a model for the scatter point-spread-function parameterized only by air gap. This model suggests that small increases in air gap significantly attenuate the higher-frequency structure of the scatter distribution. To evaluate this model, the authors examined the behavior of the spatial frequency distributions of experimental scatter images as a function of air gap. Using film as the detector, they imaged a 20-cm uniformly thick water phantom with aperture diameters of 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 mm at air gaps of 0-24 cm.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988R060700011
View details for PubMedID 18230487
Measurement-dependent filtering, a nonlinear noise-reduction technique, was used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of in vivo T2-weighted magnetic resonance images of the prostate gland. In both normal and abnormal prostates, the technique considerably reduced noise in T2-weighted images. The technique may provide more accurate depiction of regions of benign prostatic hyperplasia and carcinoma in the prostate.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q497400011
View details for PubMedID 2459726
In addition to the familiar problems of reduced contrast and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the single energy case, dual-energy subtractions in the presence of scattered radiation suffer further degradations from: (1) artifacts due to nonuniform subtraction of scatter, and (2) a serious deterioration of the signal of interest. To determine the expected performance of scatter correcting schemes, we simulated energy subtractions performed in the presence of scatter. We discuss scatter's detrimental effects on contrast and SNR in these simulations and the expected improvements from scatter corrections to within 5% to 10%. We introduce two sampling schemes for the correction of scatter. Each scheme requires two measurements, and each involves placing an x-ray opaque sampling grid between the source and the object. In the first method, the grid is an array of lead disks present only during one measurement. Using these samples we generate an estimate of the scatter field and then subtract it from the second measurement yielding a scatter corrected image. In the second method, the grid is an array of lead strips present during both measurements but displaced between measurements by one-half of a strip spacing to completely sample the image. From the two measurements we generate an image to be corrected, an estimate of the scatter field, and a scatter corrected image. In phantom studies implemented on a digital fluoroscopy system, we observed for single energy images of blood vessel phantoms improved contrast and field uniformity. For scatter corrected selective material cancellations in human phantoms we observed improved contrast and significant reduction in artifacts. In both cases we observed no significant loss in SNR. These results facilitate the implementation of efficient large area detectors for dual-energy imaging.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q526000012
View details for PubMedID 3185410
We have studied a pulse sequence using compact imaging gradients for MR angiography by selective inversion recovery. By acquiring signals approaching a half-echo, we achieve significant immunity to artifacts from flow-induced dephasing. Initial clinical results on carotid arteries accurately depict stenoses without the problems of signal dephasing.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q076100011
View details for PubMedID 3173074
In the selective inversion recovery method for projection angiography, upstream blood is tagged by an inversion excitation and then allowed to flow into the imaged region. The subtraction of this first image from a second image acquired without the tagging leaves a signal from only the selectively tagged blood. Pulse sequence design involves consideration of the duration of the blood transit interval, excitation timing and cardiac gating, static material suppression, inversion excitation pulses, and flow compensation. Each of these considerations must be viewed with respect to the particular application. The method has demonstrated potential application to areas such as the carotid arteries, aortic arch, and peripheral vessels.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988P618700009
View details for PubMedID 3173062
View details for Web of Science ID A1988P446100004
An image-processing method called measurement-dependent filtering has been introduced to improve the SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) of selective images produced by various medical imaging systems. The basic algorithm involves the combination of the low-frequency information of the selective image with the high-frequency information of a nonselective image. A spatially variant control function modulates the amount of high frequency to be added at each point. A least-mean-square (LMS) control function formed from two basis images, namely the high-passed versions of the nonselective image (M(b)) and the selective image (S(b)), is introduced. The original algorithm is now viewed as a two-stage filtering method, including the low-pass filtering noise reduction and least squares filtering for the edge restoration. An appropriate linear transformation is used to convert the original basis images M(b) and S(b) into a new pair with orthogonal noise. This allows the implementation of the LMS and control function with practically obtainable a priori knowledge.
View details for Web of Science ID A1988N736100009
View details for PubMedID 18230464
A method has been developed that combines dual-energy subtraction and tomosynthesis for vessel imaging in intravenous angiography. This paper describes the procedure for doing tomosynthesis on a fan-beam rotational-motion system and gives the point responses of the imaging system. Phantom studies show that dual-energy tomosynthesis improves the visualization of desired vessels lying on a selected plane. The results may be feasible for some applications such as clinical diagnosis of coronary artery diseases.
View details for Web of Science ID A1987L163400006
View details for PubMedID 3320719
A modified inversion-recovery sequence is introduced which performs subtraction angiography by varying time-of-flight effects of blood flowing into an imaged slab. The selective 180 degrees excitation inverts different regions between measurements to isolate arterial and/or venous blood. On normal human subjects, high-resolution carotid artery angiograms have been obtained.
View details for Web of Science ID A1987G074500013
View details for PubMedID 3561250
This paper describes several methods for magnetic resonance angiography that create projection images based solely on flowing blood. To both remove static tissue from the image and generate signals from blood, two classes of methods considered are temporal subtraction and cancelling excitation. Temporal subtraction, analogous to digital subtraction angiography with live and mask images, is performed via phase or magnitude differences in blood signals, while cancelling excitation is characterized by its removal of static structures by selectively exciting only flowing material. Means of projection imaging which incorporate these flow-sensitive methods include variations of thick-slice 2-D spin-wrap imaging, line-scan imaging, and volumetric imaging with time-varying gradients.
View details for Web of Science ID A1986D759300004
View details for PubMedID 18244000
Most magnetic resonance imaging sequences employ field gradients and amplitude modulated RF pulses to excite only those spins lying in a specific plane. The fidelity of the resulting magnetization distribution is crucial to overall image resolution. Conventional RF-pulse design techniques rely on the small tip-angle approximation to Bloch's equation, which is inadequate for the design of 90 degrees and 180 degrees pulses. This paper demonstrates the existence of a selective pulse, and provides a sound mathematical and computational basis for pulse design. It is shown that the pulses are optimal in the class of piecewise continuous functions of duration T. An optimal pulse is defined as the pulse on the interval that achieves a magnetization profile "closest" to the desired distribution. Optimal control theory provides the mathematical basis for the new pulse design technique. Computer simulations have verified the efficacy of the 90 degrees and the 180 degrees inversion and "pancake-flip" optimal pulses.
View details for Web of Science ID A1986C415200008
View details for PubMedID 18243994
A new framework for selective excitation that offers simpler design and better performance than conventional excitation methods is introduced. The guidelines for choosing the appropriate radiofrequency (rf) pulse envelope in a conventional selective excitation sequence often rely on Fourier analysis, leading to less than desirable results. Although providing useful insight, Fourier analysis of the rf pulse envelope determines the resultant slice shape accurately only for small flip-angle excitations, and not for larger flip-angle excitations owing to the generally nonlinear behavior of the spin system. In the new excitation framework, additional excitation pulses (typically one) are applied in sequence with the conventional pulse to improve the performance (in phase characteristics and slice definition) over that achieved by the conventional pulse alone. Given a desired spatial spin distribution and an associated rf pulse (e.g., Fourier transform pairs), the Bloch equation is solved backwards to yield the starting distribution required for the conventional pulse to give exactly the desired output. If this residual distribution is a small flip angle away from the actual starting distribution, then Fourier analysis of the residual distribution leads to the necessary "setup" pulse. A gradient of opposite polarity during the setup obviates a refocusing interval after the setup pulse. Computer simulations have verified the efficacy of the multiple-pulse excitation sequence for both 90 degrees and 180 degrees excitations.
View details for Web of Science ID A1985AMN5500005
View details for PubMedID 4033586
In digital subtraction angiography, hybrid subtraction provides selective vessel images free of soft-tissue motion artifacts but with a lower signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) than temporal subtraction images. An image processing method called measurement-dependent filtering has been developed to enhance the SNR of hybrid images without losing resolution or selectivity. Linear combinations of four images consisting of a pre- and postcontrast dual-energy measurement pair form both the hybrid image and a lower noise but less selective vessel image. The noise-reduced image is derived by combining the low-frequency components of the hybrid image with the high-frequency components of the lower noise image in a variety of ways. The results of the filtering method, when tested on both phantom and clinical data, display images with about the same degree of conspicuity as the hybrid image and a SNR approaching that of the temporal image.
View details for Web of Science ID A1984SW84200005
View details for PubMedID 6377031
Recently, a variety of medical imaging systems have been introduced involving selective imaging using multiple measurements. In these systems a number of independent measurements, taken at different times and/or using different X-ray energies, are combined to form a selective image. A prime example is the selective imaging of iodine for vessel imaging. These systems, involving subtraction operations, result in a degradation of the SNR, as compared to the individual measurements. In this approach called measurement-dependent filtering, the low spatial frequencies are derived from the selective image and the high frequencies from a nonselective combination of the measurements which has a greater SNR. The combination provides a significantly improved SNR with the original resolution and a degree of "conspicuity" essentially equal to selective image.
View details for PubMedID 18234594
View details for Web of Science ID A1981NF95200006