Free-Breathing Volumetric Fat/Water Separation by Combining Radial Sampling, Compressed Sensing, and Parallel Imaging

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Conventional fat/water separation techniques require that patients hold breath during abdominal acquisitions, which often fails and limits the achievable spatial resolution and anatomic coverage. This work presents a novel approach for free-breathing volumetric fat/water separation.


Multiecho data are acquired using a motion-robust radial stack-of-stars three-dimensional GRE sequence with bipolar readout. To obtain fat/water maps, a model-based reconstruction is used that accounts for the off-resonant blurring of fat and integrates both compressed sensing and parallel imaging. The approach additionally enables generation of respiration-resolved fat/water maps by detecting motion from k-space data and reconstructing different respiration states. Furthermore, an extension is described for dynamic contrast-enhanced fat-water–separated measurements.


Uniform and robust fat/water separation is demonstrated in several clinical applications, including free-breathing noncontrast abdominal examination of adults and a pediatric subject with both motion-averaged and motion-resolved reconstructions, as well as in a noncontrast breast exam. Furthermore, dynamic contrast-enhanced fat/water imaging with high temporal resolution is demonstrated in the abdomen and breast.


The described framework provides a viable approach for motion-robust fat/water separation and promises particular value for clinical applications that are currently limited by the breath-holding capacity or cooperation of patients.

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