Clinical Evaluation of Caipirinha: Comparison Against A Grappa Standard

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Purpose:To evaluate image quality when using a CAIPIRINHA sampling pattern in comparison to a standard GRAPPA sampling pattern in patients undergoing a routine three-dimensional (3D) breathheld liver exam. CAIPIRINHA uses an optimized phase encoding sampling strategy to alter aliasing artifacts in 3D acquisitions to improve parallel imaging reconstruction.Materials and Methods:Twenty patient volunteers were scanned using a 3D VIBE acquisition with an acceleration factor of four using a CAIPIRINHA and standard GRAPPA sampling pattern. CAIPIRINHA and GRAPPA images were evaluated by three radiologists in a two alternative forced choice test, and the Wilcoxon signed rank test was performed.Results:The CAIPIRINHA sampling pattern was preferred in an average of 68% of the comparisons, and the Wilcoxon signed rank test showed a significant improvement in CAIPIRINHA images (P = 0.014). This analysis indicates that in the given sample set, CAIPIRINHA preference over the GRAPPA standard was statistically significant.Conclusion:This work shows that for an acceleration factor of four, a CAIPIRINHA accelerated VIBE acquisition provides significantly improved image quality in comparison to the current GRAPPA standard. This allows a further reduction in imaging time for similar spatial resolutions, which can reduce long breathhold requirements in abdominal imaging, and may be particularly helpful in patients who cannot provide requisite breathholds with current protocols. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2014;39:189–194. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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