PURPOSE: Cardiac and respiratory motion derived image artefacts are reduced when data are acquired with cardiac and respiratory synchronisation. Where steady state imaging techniques are required in small animals, synchronisation is most commonly performed using retrospective gating techniques but these invoke an inherent time penalty. This paper reports the development of prospective gating techniques for cardiac and respiratory motion desensitised MRI with significantly reduced minimum scan time compared to retrospective gating. METHODS: Prospective gating incorporating the automatic reacquisition of data corrupted by motion at the entry to each breath was implemented in short TR 3D spoiled gradient echo imaging. Motion sensitivity was examined over the whole mouse body for scans performed without gating, with respiratory gating, and with cardio-respiratory gating. The gating methods were performed with and without automatic reacquisition of motion corrupted data immediately after completion of the same breath. Prospective cardio-respiratory gating, with acquisition of 64 k-space lines per cardiac R-wave, was used to enable whole body DCE-MRI in the mouse. RESULTS: Prospective cardio-respiratory gating enabled high fidelity steady state imaging of physiologically mobile organs such as the heart and lung. The automatic reacquisition of data corrupted by motion at the entry to each breath minimised respiratory motion artefact and enabled a highly efficient data capture that was adaptive to changes in the inter-breath interval. Prospective cardio-respiratory gating control enabled DCE-MRI to be performed over the whole mouse body with the acquisition of successive image volumes every 12-15 s at 422 μm isotropic resolution. CONCLUSIONS: Highly efficient cardio-respiratory motion desensitised steady state MRI can be performed in small animals with prospective synchronisation, centre-out phase-encode ordering, and the automatic reacquisition of data corrupted by motion at the entry to each breath. The method presented is robust against spontaneous changes in the breathing rate. Steady state imaging with prospective cardio-respiratory gating is much more efficient than with retrospective gating, and enables the examination of rapidly changing systems such as those found when using DCE-MRI.
Magn Reson Imaging
20 - 27
Fast, Gating, Mouse, Prospective, Rapid, Reacquisition, Animals, Artifacts, Heart, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Lung, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mice, Mice, Inbred CBA, Motion