“One-Stop Shop”: Free-Breathing Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Kidney Using Iterative Reconstruction and Continuous Golden-Angle Radial Sampling

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Aims and ObjectivesThe purpose of the present study was to evaluate a recently introduced technique for free-breathing dynamic contrast-enhanced renal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applying a combination of radial k-space sampling, parallel imaging, and compressed sensing. The technique allows retrospective reconstruction of 2 motion-suppressed sets of images from the same acquisition: one with lower temporal resolution but improved image quality for subjective image analysis, and one with high temporal resolution for quantitative perfusion analysis.Materials and MethodsIn this study, 25 patients underwent a kidney examination, including a prototypical fat-suppressed, golden-angle radial stack-of-stars T1-weighted 3-dimensional spoiled gradient-echo examination (GRASP) performed after contrast agent administration during free breathing. Images were reconstructed at temporal resolutions of 55 spokes per frame (6.2 seconds) and 13 spokes per frame (1.5 seconds). The GRASP images were evaluated by 2 blinded radiologists. First, the reconstructions with low temporal resolution underwent subjective image analysis: the radiologists assessed the best arterial phase and the best renal phase and rated image quality score for each patient on a 5-point Likert-type scale.In addition, the diagnostic confidence was rated according to a 3-point Likert-type scale. Similarly, respiratory motion artifacts and streak artifacts were rated according to a 3-point Likert-type scale.Then, the reconstructions with high temporal resolution were analyzed with a voxel-by-voxel deconvolution approach to determine the renal plasma flow, and the results were compared with values reported in previous literature.ResultsReader 1 and reader 2 rated the overall image quality score for the best arterial phase and the best renal phase with a median image quality score of 4 (good image quality) for both phases, respectively. A high diagnostic confidence (median score of 3) was observed. There were no respiratory motion artifacts in any of the patients. Streak artifacts were present in all of the patients, but did not compromise diagnostic image quality.The estimated renal plasma flow was slightly higher (295 ± 78 mL/100 mL per minute) than reported in previous MRI-based studies, but also closer to the physiologically expected value.ConclusionsDynamic, motion-suppressed contrast-enhanced renal MRI can be performed in high diagnostic quality during free breathing using a combination of golden-angle radial sampling, parallel imaging, and compressed sensing. Both morphologic and quantitative functional information can be acquired within a single acquisition.

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