Strategies for reducing respiratory motion artifacts in renal perfusion imaging with arterial spin labeling

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Arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion measurements may have many applications outside the brain. In the abdomen, severe image artifacts can arise from motions between acquisitions of multiple signal averages in ASL, even with single-shot image acquisition. Background suppression and respiratory motion synchronization techniques can be used to ameliorate these artifacts. Two separate in vivo studies of renal perfusion imaging using pulsed continuous ASL (pCASL) were performed. The first study assessed various combinations of background suppression and breathing strategies. The second investigated the retrospective sorting of images acquired during free breathing based on respiratory position. Quantitative assessments of the test-retest repeatability of perfusion measurements and the image quality scored by two radiologists were made. Image quality was most significantly improved by using background suppression schemes and controlled breathing when compared to other combinations without background suppression or with free breathing, assessed by test-retests (5% level,F-test), and by radiologists' scores (5% level, Mann-Whitney U-test). Under free breathing, retrospectively sorting images based on respiratory position showed significant improvement. Both radiologists found 100% of the images had preferable image sharpness after sorting. High-quality renal perfusion measurements with reduced respiratory motion artifacts have been demonstrated using ASL when appropriate background suppression and breathing strategies are applied. Magn Reson Med, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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