Velocity encoding with the slice select refocusing gradient for faster imaging and reduced chemical shift-induced phase errors


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Abstract

Purpose:To investigate a novel phase-contrast MRI velocity-encoding technique for faster imaging and reduced chemical shift-induced phase errors.Methods:Velocity encoding with the slice select refocusing gradient achieves the target gradient moment by time shifting the refocusing gradient, which enables the use of the minimum in-phase echo time (TE) for faster imaging and reduced chemical shift-induced phase errors. Net forward flow was compared in 10 healthy subjects (N = 10) within the ascending aorta (aAo), main pulmonary artery (PA), and right/left pulmonary arteries (RPA/LPA) using conventional flow compensated and flow encoded (401 Hz/px and TE = 3.08 ms) and slice select refocused gradient velocity encoding (814 Hz/px and TE = 2.46 ms) at 3 T.Results:Improved net forward flow agreement was measured across all vessels for slice select refocused gradient compared to flow compensated and flow encoded: aAo vs. PA (1.7% ± 1.9% vs. 5.8% ± 2.8%, P = 0.002), aAo vs. RPA + LPA (2.1% ± 1.7% vs. 6.0% ± 4.3%, P = 0.03), and PA vs. RPA + LPA (2.9% ± 2.1% vs. 6.1% ± 6.3%, P = 0.04), while increasing temporal resolution (35%) and signal-to-noise ratio (33%).Conclusion:Slice select refocused gradient phase-contrast MRI with a high receiver bandwidth and minimum in-phase TE provides more accurate and less variable flow measurements through the reduction of chemical shift-induced phase errors and a reduced TE/repetition time, which can be used to increase the temporal/spatial resolution and/or reduce breath hold durations. Magn Reson Med 71:2014–2023, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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