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Magn Reson Med. 2010 Dec;64(6):1599-606. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22559. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Time-resolved absolute velocity quantification with projections.

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  • 1Laboratory for Structural NMR Imaging, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


Quantitative information on time-resolved blood velocity along the femoral/popliteal artery can provide clinical information on peripheral arterial disease and complement MR angiography as not all stenoses are hemodynamically significant. The key disadvantages of the most widely used approach to time-resolve pulsatile blood flow by cardiac-gated velocity-encoded gradient-echo imaging are gating errors and long acquisition time. Here, we demonstrate a rapid nontriggered method that quantifies absolute velocity on the basis of phase difference between successive velocity-encoded projections after selectively removing the background static tissue signal via a reference image. The tissue signal from the reference image's center k-space line is isolated by masking out the vessels in the image domain. The performance of the technique, in terms of reproducibility and agreement with results obtained with conventional phase contrast-MRI was evaluated at 3 T field strength with a variable-flow rate phantom and in vivo of the triphasic velocity waveforms at several segments along the femoral and popliteal arteries. Additionally, time-resolved flow velocity was quantified in five healthy subjects and compared against gated phase contrast-MRI results. To illustrate clinical feasibility, the proposed method was shown to be able to identify hemodynamic abnormalities and impaired reactivity in a diseased femoral artery. For both phantom and in vivo studies, velocity measurements were within 1.5 cm/s, and the coefficient of variation was less than 5% in an in vivo reproducibility study. In five healthy subjects, the average differences in mean peak velocities and their temporal locations were within 1 cm/s and 10 ms compared to gated phase contrast-MRI. In conclusion, the proposed method provides temporally resolved arterial velocity with a temporal resolution of 20 ms with minimal post processing.

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