Purpose: To develop a framework for respiratory motion-corrected 3D whole-heart water/fat coronary MR angiography (CMRA) at 3T with reduced and predictable scan time. Methods: A 3D dual-echo acquisition and respiratory motion-corrected reconstruction framework for water/fat CMRA imaging was developed. The acquisition sequence integrates a 2D dual-echo image navigator (iNAV), enabling 100% respiratory scan efficiency. Respiratory motion estimated from both the 2D iNAVs and the 3D data itself is used to produce non-rigid motion-corrected water/fat CMRA images. A first study to investigate which iNAV (water, fat, in-phase or out-of-phase) provides the best translational motion estimation was performed in 10 healthy subjects. Subsequently, non-rigid motion-corrected water/fat images were compared to a diaphragmatic navigator gated and tracked water/fat CMRA acquisition. Image quality metrics included visible vessel length and vessel sharpness for both the left anterior descending and right coronary arteries. Results: Average vessel sharpness achieved with water, fat, in-phase and out-of-phase iNAVs was 33.8%, 29.6%, 32.2% and 38.5%, respectively. Out-of-phase iNAVs were therefore used for estimating translational respiratory motion for the remainder of the study. No statistically significant differences in vessel length and sharpness (p>0.01) were observed between the proposed non-rigid motion correction approach and the reference images although data acquisition was significantly shorter (p<2.6×10-4). Motion correction improved vessel sharpness by 60.4% and vessel length by 47.7% on average in water CMRA images in comparison with no motion correction. Conclusion: The feasibility of a novel motion-corrected water/fat CMRA approach has been demonstrated at 3T, producing images comparable to a reference gated acquisition, but in a shorter and predictable scan time.
- coronary MRA
- respiratory motion correction