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Journal Article

Spatiotemporal phase unwrapping for real-time phase-contrast flow MRI

MPS-Authors
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Untenberger,  M.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Joseph,  A. A.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Voit,  D.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Merboldt,  K. D.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Frahm,  J.
Biomedical NMR Research GmbH, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Untenberger, M., Hüllebrand, M., Tautz, L., Joseph, A. A., Voit, D., Merboldt, K. D., et al. (2015). Spatiotemporal phase unwrapping for real-time phase-contrast flow MRI. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 74(4), 964-970. doi:10.1002/mrm.25471.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0026-CD83-2
Abstract
Purpose: To develop and evaluate a practical phase unwrapping method for real-time phase-contrast flow MRI using temporal and spatial continuity. Methods: Real-time phase-contrast MRI of through-plane flow was performed using highly undersampled radial FLASH with phase-sensitive reconstructions by regularized nonlinear inversion. Experiments involved flow in a phantom and the human aorta (10 healthy subjects) with and without phase wrapping for velocity encodings of 100 cms1 and 200 cms1. Phase unwrapping was performed for each individual cardiac cycle and restricted to a region of interest automatically propagated to all time frames. The algorithm exploited temporal continuity in forward and backward direction for all pixels with a “continuous” representation of blood throughout the entire cardiac cycle (inner vessel lumen). Phase inconsistencies were corrected by a comparison with values from direct spatial neighbors. The latter approach was also applied to pixels exhibiting a discontinuous signal intensity time course due to movement-induced spatial displacements (peripheral vessel zone). Results: Phantom and human flow MRI data were successfully unwrapped. When halving the velocity encoding, the velocity-to-noise ratio (VNR) increased by a factor of two. Conclusion: The proposed phase unwrapping method for real-time flow MRI allows for measurements with reduced velocity encoding and increased VNR.