BACKGROUND: To enable free-breathing whole-heart sub-millimeter resolution coronary magnetic resonance angiography (CMRA) in a clinically feasible scan time by combining low-rank patch-based undersampled reconstruction (3D-PROST) with a highly accelerated non-rigid motion correction framework.

METHODS: Non-rigid motion corrected CMRA combined with 2D image-based navigators has been previously proposed to enable 100% respiratory scan efficiency in modestly undersampled acquisitions. Achieving sub-millimeter isotropic resolution with such techniques still requires prohibitively long acquisition times. We propose to combine 3D-PROST reconstruction with a highly accelerated non-rigid motion correction framework to achieve sub-millimeter resolution CMRA in less than 10 min. Ten healthy subjects and eight patients with suspected coronary artery disease underwent 4-5-fold accelerated free-breathing whole-heart CMRA with 0.9 mm3 isotropic resolution. Vessel sharpness, vessel length and image quality obtained with the proposed non-rigid (NR) PROST approach were compared against translational correction only (TC-PROST) and a previously proposed NR motion-compensated technique (non-rigid SENSE) in healthy subjects. For the patient study, image quality scoring and visual comparison with coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) were performed.

RESULTS: Average scan times [min:s] were 6:01 ± 0:59 (healthy subjects) and 8:29 ± 1:41 (patients). In healthy subjects, vessel sharpness of the left anterior descending (LAD) and right (RCA) coronary arteries were improved with the proposed non-rigid PROST (LAD: 51.2 ± 8.8%, RCA: 61.2 ± 9.1%) in comparison to TC-PROST (LAD: 43.8 ± 5.1%, P = 0.051, RCA: 54.3 ± 8.3%, P = 0.218) and non-rigid SENSE (LAD: 46.1 ± 5.8%, P = 0.223, RCA: 56.7 ± 9.6%, P = 0.50), although differences were not statistically significant. The average visual image quality score was significantly higher for NR-PROST (LAD: 3.2 ± 0.6, RCA: 3.3 ± 0.7) compared with TC-PROST (LAD: 2.1 ± 0.6, P = 0.018, RCA: 2.0 ± 0.7, P = 0.014) and non-rigid SENSE (LAD: 2.3 ± 0.5, P = 0.008, RCA: 2.5 ± 0.7, P = 0.016). In patients, the proposed approach showed good delineation of the coronaries, in agreement with CCTA, with image quality scores and vessel sharpness similar to that of healthy subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate the feasibility of combining high undersampling factors with non-rigid motion-compensated reconstruction to obtain high-quality sub-millimeter isotropic CMRA images in ~ 8 min. Validation in a larger cohort of patients with coronary artery disease is now warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Pages (from-to)24
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2020


  • Accelerated imaging
  • Coronary MR angiography
  • Isotropic sub-millimeter resolution. PROST reconstruction non-rigid motion compensation


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