Highly accelerated intracranial time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography using wave-encoding.
Ji Y., Wu W., de Buck MHS., Okell T., Jezzard P.
PURPOSE: To develop an accelerated 3D intracranial time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) sequence with wave-encoding (referred to as 3D wave-TOF) and to evaluate two variants: wave-controlled aliasing in parallel imaging (CAIPI) and compressed-sensing wave (CS-wave). METHODS: A wave-TOF sequence was implemented on a 3 T clinical scanner. Wave-encoded and Cartesian k-space datasets from six healthy volunteers were retrospectively and prospectively undersampled with 2D-CAIPI sampling and variable-density Poisson disk sampling. 2D-CAIPI, wave-CAIPI, standard CS, and CS-wave schemes were compared at various acceleration factors. Flow-related artifacts in wave-TOF were investigated, and a set of practicable wave parameters was developed. Quantitative analysis of wave-TOF and traditional Cartesian TOF MRA was performed by comparing the contrast-to-background ratio between the vessel and background tissue in source images, and the structural similarity index measure (SSIM) between the maximum intensity projection images from accelerated acquisitions and their respective fully sampled references. RESULTS: Flow-related artifacts caused by the wave-encoding gradients in wave-TOF were eliminated by properly chosen parameters. Images from wave-CAIPI and CS-wave acquisitions had a higher SNR and better-preserved contrast than traditional parallel imaging (PI) and CS methods. Maximum intensity projection images from wave-CAIPI and CS-wave acquisitions had a cleaner background, with vessels that were better depicted. Quantitative analyses indicated that wave-CAIPI had the highest contrast-to-background ratio, SSIM, and vessel-masked SSIM among the sampling schemes studied, followed by the CS-wave acquisition. CONCLUSION: 3D wave-TOF improves the capability of accelerated MRA and provides better image quality at higher acceleration factors compared to traditional PI- or CS-accelerated TOF, suggesting the potential use of wave-TOF in cerebrovascular disease.