Contrast-enhanced timing robust acquisition order with a preparation of the longitudinal signal component (CENTRA plus) for 3D contrast-enhanced abdominal imaging

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PurposeTo investigate a new image acquisition method that enables an accurate hepatic arterial phase definition and the visualization of contrast agent uptake processes in abdominal organs like liver, spleen, and pancreas.Materials and MethodsA 3D turbo gradient echo method where a fat suppression prepulse is followed by the acquisition of several profiles was combined with an elliptical centric k-space ordering technique and 3D dynamic elliptical centric keyhole. The new k-space ordering method (CENTRA+) was validated experimentally. In an initial clinical evaluation phase the method was employed in five patients to assess the accuracy of the hepatic arterial phase definition and the visualization of the contrast uptake processes in dynamic scanning in abdominal organs like liver, spleen, and pancreas.ResultsIn total, five patients were evaluated using the new k-space order. Our initial results indicate that the new k-space order allows consistent capture of the hepatic arterial phase. In dynamic scanning the extreme short temporal resolution obtained with 3D elliptical centric keyhole enables contrast enhancement to be followed in organs with fast contrast uptake characteristics.ConclusionThe elliptical centric nature of the new image acquisition method effectively allows capture of the contrast enhancement processes with good fat suppression. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2008;27:1461–1467. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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