High efficiency coronary MR angiography with nonrigid cardiac motion correction

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Purpose:To improve the coronary visualization quality of four-dimensional (4D) coronary MR angiography (MRA) through cardiac motion correction and iterative reconstruction.Methods:A contrast-enhanced, spoiled gradient echo sequence with 3D radial trajectory and self-gating was used for 4D coronary MRA data acquisition at 3 Tesla. A whole-heart 16-phase cine series was reconstructed with respiratory motion correction. Nonrigid registration was performed between the identified quiescent phases and a reference. The motion information of all included phases was then used along with the corresponding k-space data to iteratively reconstruct the final image. Healthy volunteer studies (N = 13) were conducted to compare the proposed method with the conventional strategy, which accepts data from a single, contiguous window out of the original 16-phase data. Apparent signal-to-noise ratio (aSNR) and coronary sharpness were used as the image quality metrics.Results:The proposed method significantly improved aSNR (11.89 ± 3.76 to 13.97 ± 5.21; P = 0.005) and scan efficiency (18.8% ± 6.0% to 40.9% ± 9.7%; P < 0.001), compared with the conventional strategy. Sharpness of left main (P = 0.002), proximal (P = 0.04), and middle (P = 0.02) right coronary artery, and proximal left anterior descending (P = 0.04) was also significantly improved.Conclusion:The proposed cardiac motion-corrected reconstruction significantly improved the achievable quality of coronary visualization from 4D coronary MRA. Magn Reson Med 76:1345–1353, 2016. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

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