Accelerating Mr Elastography: A Multiecho Phase-Contrast Gradient-Echo Sequence

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Abstract

Purpose:

To demonstrate the feasibility of using a multiecho phase-contrast (PC) gradient-echo sequence with motion-sensitizing gradient (MSG) to accelerate MR elastography (MRE) acquisitions in comparison to single-echo PC sequences.

Materials and Methods:

The sequence was implemented and compared with a conventional single-echo sequence as the standard of reference in both agarose phantoms and in vivo in the biceps of three healthy volunteers. For reconstruction of the elasticity modulus, a local frequency estimation (LFE) algorithm was used. ETL factors of 1–16 were evaluated.

Results:

Phantom experiments demonstrated excellent consistency between single-echo and multiecho measurements in terms of wave equivalency, SNR, and reconstructed shear modulus. Additionally, the in vivo MRE examinations showed an excellent correspondence to the single-echo results. Minor loss of wave amplitude was observed at higher ETL factors.

Conclusion:

The results demonstrate that a multiecho sequence is suitable for accelerating MRE in nearly homogeneous tissue, such as muscle. It provides equivalent elasticity values in a significantly reduced scan time compared to a single-echo sequence. The maximum achievable ETL factor must be individually determined for the target tissue.

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