Free-breathing phase contrast MRI with near 100% respiratory navigator efficiency using k-space-dependent respiratory gating

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Purpose:To investigate the efficacy of a novel respiratory motion scheme, where only the center of k-space is gated using respiratory navigators, versus a fully respiratory-gated acquisition for three-dimensional flow imaging.Methods:Three-dimensional flow images were acquired axially using a gradient echo sequence in a volume, covering the ascending and descending aorta, and the pulmonary artery bifurcation in 12 healthy subjects (33.2 ± 15.8 years; five men). For respiratory motion compensation, two gating and tracking strategies were used with a 7-mm gating window: (1) All of k-space acquired within the gating window (fully gated) and (2) central k-space acquired within the gating window, and the remainder of k-space acquired without any gating (center gated). Each scan was repeated twice. Stroke volume, mean flow, peak velocity, and signal-to-noise-ratio measurements were performed both on the ascending and on the descending aorta for all acquisitions, which were compared using a linear mixed-effects model and Bland–Altman analysis.Results:There were no statistical differences between the fully gated and the center-gated strategies for the quantification of stroke volume, peak velocity, and mean flow, as well as the signal-to-noise-ratio measurements. Furthermore, the proposed center-gated strategy had significantly shorter acquisition time compared to the fully gated strategy (13:19 ± 3:02 vs. 19:35 ± 5:02, P < 0.001).Conclusions:The proposed novel center-gated strategy for three-dimensional flow MRI allows for markedly shorter acquisition time without any systematic variation in quantitative flow measurements in this small group of healthy volunteers. Magn Reson Med 71:2172–2179, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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