All-Systolic Non–ECG-Gated Myocardial Perfusion MRI: Feasibility of Multi-Slice Continuous First-Pass Imaging

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Abstract

Purpose:

To develop and test the feasibility of a new method for non–ECG-gated first-pass perfusion (FPP) cardiac MR capable of imaging multiple short-axis slices at the same systolic cardiac phase.

Methods:

A magnetization-driven pulse sequence was developed for non–ECG-gated FPP imaging without saturation-recovery preparation using continuous slice-interleaved radial sampling. The image reconstruction method, dubbed TRACE, used self-gating based on reconstruction of a real-time image-based navigator combined with reference-constrained compressed sensing. Data from ischemic animal studies (n = 5) was used in a simulation framework to evaluate temporal fidelity. Healthy subjects (n = 5) were studied using both the proposed approach and the conventional method to compare the myocardial contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Patients (n = 2) underwent adenosine stress studies using the proposed method.

Results:

Temporal fidelity of the developed method was shown to be sufficient at high heart-rates. The healthy volunteers studies demonstrated normal perfusion and no dark-rim artifacts. Compared with the conventional scheme, myocardial CNR for the proposed method was slightly higher (8.6 ± 0.6 versus 8.0 ± 0.7). Patient studies showed stress-induced perfusion defects consistent with invasive angiography.

Conclusion:

The presented methods and results demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach for high-resolution non–ECG-gated FPP imaging of 3 myocardial slices at the same systolic phase, and indicate its potential for achieving desirable image quality (high CNR and no dark-rim artifacts). Magn Reson Med 74:1661–1674, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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