High-Spatial and High-Temporal Resolution Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Perfusion Imaging of The Liver with Time-Resolved Three-Dimensional Radial MRI

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Purpose:Detection, characterization, and monitoring the treatment of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) in patients with cirrhosis is challenging because of their variable and rapid arterial enhancement. Multiphase dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI is used clinically for HCC assessment; however, the method suffers from limited temporal resolution and difficulty in coordinating imaging and breath-hold timing within a narrow temporal window of interest. In this article, a volumetric, high-spatial resolution, and high-temporal resolution dynamic contrast-enhanced liver imaging method for improved detection and characterization of HCC is demonstrated.Methods:A time-resolved three-dimensional radial acquisition with iterative sensitivity-encoding reconstruction images the entire abdomen and thorax with high spatial and temporal resolution, using real-time three-dimensional fluoroscopy to match the breath hold to contrast arrival. The sequence was tested on 17 subjects, including eight patients with HCC or other hypervascular focal lesions.Results:This technique was successful in acquiring volumetric imaging of the entire liver with 2.1-mm isotropic spatial and true 4-s temporal resolution.Conclusion:This technique may be suitable for detecting, characterizing, and monitoring the treatment of HCC. It also holds significant potential for perfusion modeling, which may provide a noninvasive means to rapidly determine the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents in these tumors over the entire liver volume. Magn Reson Med 71:934–941, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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