3D whole-heart grey-blood late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging

Abstract Purpose To develop a free-breathing whole-heart isotropic-resolution 3D late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) sequence with Dixon-encoding, which provides co-registered 3D grey-blood phase-sensitive inversion-recovery (PSIR) and complementary 3D fat volumes in a single scan of < 7 min. Methods A free-breathing 3D PSIR LGE sequence with dual-echo Dixon readout with a variable density Cartesian trajectory with acceleration factor of 3 is proposed. Image navigators are acquired to correct both inversion recovery (IR)-prepared and reference volumes for 2D translational respiratory motion, enabling motion compensated PSIR reconstruction with 100% respiratory scan efficiency. An intermediate PSIR reconstruction is performed between the in-phase echoes to estimate the signal polarity which is subsequently applied to the IR-prepared water volume to generate a water grey-blood PSIR image. The IR-prepared water volume is obtained using a water/fat separation algorithm from the corresponding dual-echo readout. The complementary fat-volume is obtained after water/fat separation of the reference volume. Ten patients (6 with myocardial scar) were scanned with the proposed water/fat grey-blood 3D PSIR LGE sequence at 1.5 T and compared to breath-held grey-blood 2D LGE sequence in terms of contrast ratio (CR), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), scar depiction, scar transmurality, scar mass and image quality. Results Comparable CRs (p = 0.98, 0.40 and 0.83) and CNRs (p = 0.29, 0.40 and 0.26) for blood-myocardium, scar-myocardium and scar-blood respectively were obtained with the proposed free-breathing 3D water/fat LGE and 2D clinical LGE scan. Excellent agreement for scar detection, scar transmurality, scar mass (bias = 0.29%) and image quality scores (from 1: non-diagnostic to 4: excellent) of 3.8 ± 0.42 and 3.6 ± 0.69 (p > 0.99) were obtained with the 2D and 3D PSIR LGE approaches with comparable total acquisition time (p = 0.29). Similar agreement in intra and inter-observer variability were obtained for the 2D and 3D acquisition respectively. Conclusion The proposed approach enabled the acquisition of free-breathing motion-compensated isotropic-resolution 3D grey-blood PSIR LGE and fat volumes. The proposed approach showed good agreement with conventional 2D LGE in terms of CR, scar depiction and scan time, while enabling free-breathing acquisition, whole-heart coverage, reformatting in arbitrary views and visualization of both water and fat information.
3D whole-heart, Respiratory motion correction, Late gadolinium enhancement, Dixon water/fat separation
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. 2021 May 24;23(1):62