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Whole-heart non-rigid motion corrected coronary MRA with autofocus virtual 3D iNAV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Early online date7 Jan 2022
Accepted/In press4 Jan 2022
E-pub ahead of print7 Jan 2022
PublishedApr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work was supported by EPSRC ( EP/L015226/1 , EP/P032311/1 , EP/P007619/1 and EP/P001009/1 ). This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cardiovascular Health Technology Cooperative (HTC) and the Biomedical Research Centre based at Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London . This research was funded in part, by the Wellcome Trust NS/A000049/1 . For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. Publisher Copyright: © 2022

King's Authors


Purpose: Respiratory motion-corrected coronary MR angiography (CMRA) has shown promise for assessing coronary disease. By incorporating coronal 2D image navigators (iNAVs), respiratory motion can be corrected for in a beat-to-beat basis using translational correction in the foot-head (FH) and right-left (RL) directions and in a bin-to-bin basis using non-rigid motion correction addressing the remaining FH, RL and anterior-posterior (AP) motion. However, with this approach beat-to-beat AP motion is not corrected for. In this work we investigate the effect of remaining beat-to-beat AP motion and propose a virtual 3D iNAV that exploits autofocus motion correction to enable beat-to-beat AP and improved RL intra-bin motion correction.

Methods: Free-breathing 3D whole-heart CMRA was acquired using a 3-fold undersampled variable-density Cartesian trajectory. Beat-to-beat 3D translational respiratory motion was estimated from the 2D iNAVs in FH and RL directions, and in AP direction with autofocus assuming a linear relationship between FH and AP movement of the heart. Furthermore, motion in RL was also refined using autofocus. This virtual 3D (v3D) iNAV was incorporated in a non-rigid motion correction (NRMC) framework. The proposed approach was tested in 12 cardiac patients, and visible vessel length and vessel sharpness for the right (RCA) and left (LAD) coronary arteries were compared against 2D iNAV-based NRMC.

Results: Average vessel sharpness and length in v3D iNAV NRMC was improved compared to 2D iNAV NRMC (vessel sharpness: RCA: 56±1% vs 52±11%, LAD: 49±8% vs 49±7%; visible vessel length: RCA: 5.98±1.37cm vs 5.81±1.62cm, LAD: 5.95±1.85cm vs 4.83±1.56cm), however these improvements were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: The proposed virtual 3D iNAV NRMC reconstruction further improved NRMC CMRA image quality by reducing artefacts arising from residual AP motion, however the level of improvement was subject-dependent.

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