Analysis of spatiotemporal fidelity in quantitative 3D first-pass perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance.J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2017 Jan 27; 19(1):11.JC
Whole-heart first-pass perfusion cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) relies on highly accelerated image acquisition. The influence of undersampling on myocardial blood flow (MBF) quantification has not been systematically investigated yet. In the present work, the effect of spatiotemporal scan acceleration on image reconstruction accuracy and MBF error was studied using a numerical phantom and validated in-vivo.
Up to 10-fold scan acceleration using k-t PCA and k-t SPARSE-SENSE was simulated using the MRXCAT CMR numerical phantom framework. Image reconstruction results were compared to ground truth data in the k-f domain by means of modulation transfer function (MTF) analysis. In the x-t domain, errors pertaining to specific features of signal intensity-time curves and MBF values derived using Fermi model deconvolution were analysed. In-vivo first-pass CMR data were acquired in ten healthy volunteers using a dual-sequence approach assessing the arterial input function (AIF) and myocardial enhancement. 10x accelerated 3D k-t PCA and k-t SPARSE-SENSE were compared and related to non-accelerated 2D reference images.
MTF analysis revealed good recovery of data upon k-t PCA reconstruction at 10x undersampling with some attenuation of higher temporal frequencies. For 10x k-t SPARSE-SENSE the MTF was found to decrease to zero at high spatial frequencies for all temporal frequencies indicating a loss in spatial resolution. Signal intensity-time curve errors were most prominent in AIFs from 10x k-t PCA, thereby emphasizing the need for separate AIF acquisition using a dual-sequence approach. These findings were confirmed by MBF estimation based on AIFs from fully sampled and undersampled simulations. Average in-vivo MBF estimates were in good agreement between both accelerated and the fully sampled methods. Intra-volunteer MBF variation for fully sampled 2D scans was lower compared to 10x k-t PCA and k-t SPARSE-SENSE data.
Quantification of highly undersampled 3D first-pass perfusion CMR yields accurate MBF estimates provided the AIF is obtained using fully sampled or moderately undersampled scans as part of a dual-sequence approach. However, relative to fully sampled 2D perfusion imaging, intra-volunteer variation is increased using 3D approaches prompting for further developments.