Pflugi S, Roujol S, Akçakaya M, Kawaji K, Foppa M, Heydari B, Goddu B, Kissinger K, Berg S, Manning WJ, Kozerke S, Nezafat R.
Magnetic resonance in medicine

To evaluate the feasibility of accelerated cardiac MR (CMR) perfusion with radial sampling using nonlinear image reconstruction after exercise on an MR-compatible supine bike ergometer.

Eight healthy subjects were scanned on two separate days using radial and Cartesian CMR perfusion sequences in rest and exercise stress perfusion. Four different methods (standard gridding, conjugate gradient SENSE [CG-SENSE], nonlinear inversion with joint estimation of coil-sensitivity profiles [NLINV] and compressed sensing with a total variation constraint [TV]) were compared for the reconstruction of radial data. Cartesian data were reconstructed using SENSE. All images were assessed by two blinded readers in terms of image quality and diagnostic value.

CG-SENSE and NLINV were scored more favorably than TV (in both rest and stress perfusion cases, P < 0.05) and gridding (for rest perfusion cases, P < 0.05). TV images showed patchy artifacts, which negatively influenced image quality especially in the stress perfusion images acquired with a low number of radial spokes. Although CG-SENSE and NLINV received better scores than Cartesian sampling in both rest and exercise stress perfusion cases, these differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05).

We have demonstrated the feasibility of accelerated CMR perfusion using radial sampling after physical exercise using a supine bicycle ergometer in healthy subjects. For reconstruction of undersampled radial perfusion, CG-SENSE and NLINV resulted in better image quality than standard gridding or TV reconstruction. Further technical improvements and clinical assessment are needed before using this approach in patients with suspected coronary artery disease.

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