Publications by authors named "Charles A Mistretta"

39 Publications

Optimization of quantitative time-resolved 3D (4D) digital subtraction angiography in a porcine liver model.

Eur Radiol Exp 2020 07 2;4(1):37. Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.

Background: Time-resolved three-dimensional digital subtraction angiography (4D-DSA) can be used to quantify blood velocity. Contrast pulsatility, a major discriminant on 4D-DSA, is yet to be optimized. We investigated the effects of different imaging and injection parameters on sideband ratio (SBR), a measure of contrast pulsatile strength, within the hepatic vasculature of an in vivo porcine model.

Methods: Fifty-nine hepatic 4D-DSA procedures were performed in three female domestic swine (mean weight 54 kg). Contrast injections were performed in the common hepatic artery with different combinations of imaging duration (6 s or 12 s), injection rates (from 1.0 to 2.5 mL/s), contrast concentration (50% or 100%), and catheter size (4 Fr or 5 Fr). Reflux was recorded. SBR and vessel cross-sectional areas were calculated in 289 arterial segments. Multiple linear mixed-effects models were estimated to determine the effects of parameters on SBR and cross-sectional vessel area.

Results: Twelve-second acquisitions yielded a SBR higher than 6 s (p < 0.001). No significant differences in SBR were seen between different catheter sizes (p = 0.063) or contrast concentration (p = 0.907). For higher injection rates (2.5 mL/s), SBR was lower (p = 0.007) and cross-sectional area was higher (p < 0.001). Reflux of contrast does not significantly affect SBR (p = 0.087).

Conclusions: The strength of contrast pulsatility used for flow quantitation with 4D-DSA can be increased by adjusting injection rates and using longer acquisition times. Reduction of contrast concentration to 50% is feasible and reflux of contrast does not significantly hinder contrast pulsatility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41747-020-00164-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7329977PMC
July 2020

Quantitative 4D-Digital Subtraction Angiography to Assess Changes in Hepatic Arterial Flow during Transarterial Embolization: A Feasibility Study in a Swine Model.

J Vasc Interv Radiol 2019 Aug 1;30(8):1286-1292. Epub 2019 Jun 1.

Section of Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue, D4-352, Madison, WI 53792.

Purpose: To determine the feasibility of using time-resolved 3D-digital subtraction angiography (4D-DSA) for quantifying changes in hepatic arterial blood flow and velocity during transarterial embolization.

Materials And Methods: Hepatic arteriography and selective transarterial embolization were performed in 4 female domestic swine (mean weight, 54 kg) using 100-300-μm microspheres. Conventional 2D and 4D-DSA were performed before, during, and after each embolization. From the 4D-DSA reconstructions, blood flow and velocity values were calculated for hepatic arterial branches using a pulsatility-based algorithm. 4D-DSA velocity values were compared to those measured using an intravascular Doppler wire with a linear regression analysis. Paired t-tests were used to compare data before and after embolization.

Results: There was a weak-to-moderate but statistically significant correlation of flow velocities measured with 4D-DSA and the Doppler wire (r = 0.35, n = 39, P = .012). For vessels with high pulsatility, the correlation was higher (r = 0.64, n = 11, P = .034), and the relationship between 4D-DSA and the Doppler wire fit a linear model with a positive bias toward the Doppler wire (failed to reject at 95% confidence level, P = .208). 4D-DSA performed after partial embolization showed a reduction in velocity in the embolized hepatic arteries compared to pre-embolization (mean, 3.96 ± 0.74 vs 11.8 2± 2.15 cm/s, P = .006).

Conclusion: Quantitative 4D-DSA can depict changes in hepatic arterial blood velocity during transarterial embolization in a swine model. Further work is needed to optimize 4D-DSA acquisitions and to investigate its applicability in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvir.2019.01.018DOI Listing
August 2019

Ultra-Low Radiation Dose CT Fluoroscopy for Percutaneous Interventions: A Porcine Feasibility Study.

Radiology 2019 04 15;291(1):241-249. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

From the Departments of Medical Physics (M.G.W., Y.L., T.P.S., C.A.M.), Radiology (J.L.H., T.P.S., P.L., C.A.M., F.T.L.), Urology (J.L.H., F.T.L.), and Biomedical Engineering (T.P.S., F.T.L.), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53705.

Purpose To determine the feasibility of ultra-low-dose (ULD) CT fluoroscopy for performing percutaneous CT-guided interventions in an in vivo porcine model and to compare radiation dose, spatial accuracy, and metal artifact for conventional CT versus CT fluoroscopy. Materials and Methods An in vivo swine model was used (n = 4, ∼50 kg) for 20 procedures guided by 246 incremental conventional CT scans (mean, 12.5 scans per procedure). The procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and performed by two experienced radiologists from September 7, 2017, to August 8, 2018. ULD CT fluoroscopic acquisitions were simulated by using only two of 984 conventional CT projections to locate and reconstruct the needle, which was superimposed on a previously acquired and motion-compensated CT scan. The authors (medical physicists) compared the ULD CT fluoroscopy results to those of conventional CT for needle location, radiation dose, and metal artifacts using Deming regression and generalized mixed models. Results The average distance between the needle tip reconstructed using conventional CT and ULD CT fluoroscopy was 1.06 mm. Compared with CT fluoroscopy, the estimated dose for a percutaneous procedure, including planning acquisitions, was 0.99 mSv (21% reduction) for patients (effective dose) and 0.015 µGy (97% reduction) for physicians (scattered dose in air). Metal artifacts were statistically significantly reduced (P < .001, bootstrapping), and the average registration error of the motion compensation was within 1-3 mm. Conclusion Ultra-low-dose CT fluoroscopy has the potential to reduce radiation exposure for intraprocedural scans to patients and staff by a factor of approximately 500 times compared with conventional CT acquisition, while maintaining image quality without metal artifacts. © RSNA, 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2019181362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438357PMC
April 2019

Measuring blood velocity using 4D-DSA: A feasibility study.

Med Phys 2018 Oct 6;45(10):4510-4518. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Purpose: Four-dimensional (4D) DSA reconstruction provides three-dimensional (3D) time-resolved visualization of contrast bolus passage through arterial vasculature in the interventional setting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using these data in measuring blood velocity and flow.

Methods: The pulsatile signals in the time concentration curves (TCCs) measured at different points along a vessel are markers of the movement of a contrast bolus and thus of blood flow. When combined with the spatial content, that is, geometry of the vasculature, this information then provides the data required to determine blood velocity. A Fourier-based algorithm was used to identify and follow the pulsatility signal. A Side Band Ratio (SBR) metric was used to reduce uncertainty in identifying the pulsatility in regions where the signal was weak. We tested this method using 4D-DSA reconstructions from vascular phantoms as well as from human studies.

Results: In five studies using 3D printed patient-specific cerebrovascular phantoms, velocities calculated from the 4D-DSAs were found to be within 10% of velocities measured with a flow meter. Calculated velocity and flow values from three human studies were within the range of those reported in the literature.

Conclusions: 4D-DSA provides temporal and spatial information about blood flow and vascular geometry. This information is obtained using conventional rotational angiographic systems. In this small feasibility study, these data allowed calculations of velocity values that correlated well with measured values. The availability of velocity and blood flow information in the interventional setting would support a more quantitative approach to diagnosis, treatment planning and post-treatment evaluations of a variety of cerebrovascular diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mp.13120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767933PMC
October 2018

The History of Digital Subtraction Angiography.

J Vasc Interv Radiol 2018 08;29(8):1138-1141

Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin; Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvir.2018.03.030DOI Listing
August 2018

4D DSA reconstruction using tomosynthesis projections.

Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng 2017 Feb 9;10132. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Dept. of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

We investigate the use of tomosynthesis in 4D DSA to improve the accuracy of reconstructed vessel time-attenuation curves (TACs). It is hypothesized that a narrow-angle tomosynthesis dataset for each time point can be exploited to reduce artifacts caused by vessel overlap in individual projections. 4D DSA reconstructs time-resolved 3D angiographic volumes from a typical 3D DSA scan consisting of mask and iodine-enhanced C-arm rotations. Tomosynthesis projections are obtained either from a conventional C-arm rotation, or from an inverse geometry scanning-beam digital x-ray (SBDX) system. In the proposed method, rays of the tomosynthesis dataset which pass through multiple vessels can be ignored, allowing the non-overlapped rays to impart temporal information to the 4D DSA. The technique was tested in simulated scans of 2 mm diameter vessels separated by 2 to 5 cm, with TACs following either early or late enhancement. In standard 4D DSA, overlap artifacts were clearly present. Use of tomosynthesis projections in 4D DSA reduced TAC artifacts caused by vessel overlap, when a sufficient fraction of non-overlapped rays was available in each time frame. In cases where full overlap between vessels occurred, information could be recovered via a proposed image space interpolation technique. SBDX provides a tomosynthesis scan for each frame period in a rotational acquisition, whereas a standard C-arm geometry requires the grouping of multiple frames.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2255197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5606252PMC
February 2017

Feasibility of reduced-dose three-dimensional/four-dimensional-digital subtraction angiogram using a weighted edge preserving filter.

J Med Imaging (Bellingham) 2017 Jan 11;4(1):013501. Epub 2017 Jan 11.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, United States; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Medical Physics, 1111 Highland Avenue #1005, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, United States; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Radiology, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, United States.

A conventional three-dimensional/four-dimensional (3D/4D) digital subtraction angiogram (DSA) requires two rotational acquisitions (mask and fill) to compute the log-subtracted projections that are used to reconstruct a 3D/4D volume. Since all of the vascular information is contained in the fill acquisition, it is hypothesized that it is possible to reduce the x-ray dose of the mask acquisition substantially and still obtain subtracted projections adequate to reconstruct a 3D/4D volume with noise level comparable to a full-dose acquisition. A full-dose mask and fill acquisition were acquired from a clinical study to provide a known full-dose reference reconstruction. Gaussian noise was added to the mask acquisition to simulate a mask acquisition acquired at 10% relative dose. Noise in the low-dose mask projections was reduced with a weighted edge preserving filter designed to preserve bony edges while suppressing noise. Two-dimensional (2D) log-subtracted projections were computed from the filtered low-dose mask and full-dose fill projections, and then 3D/4D-DSA reconstruction algorithms were applied. Additional bilateral filtering was applied to the 3D volumes. The signal-to-noise ratio measured in the filtered 3D/4D-DSA volumes was compared to the full-dose case. The average ratio of filtered low-dose SNR to full-dose SNR was 0.856 for the 3D-DSA and 0.849 for the 4D-DSA, indicating that the method is a feasible approach to restoring SNR in DSA scans acquired with a low-dose mask. The method was also tested in a phantom study with full-dose fill and 22%-dose mask.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMI.4.1.013501DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225403PMC
January 2017

Simultaneous static and cine nonenhanced MR angiography using radial sampling and highly constrained back projection reconstruction.

Magn Reson Med 2014 Oct 11;72(4):1079-86. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Department of Radiology, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Illinois, USA; The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Purpose: To describe a pulse sequence for simultaneous static and cine nonenhanced magnetic resonance angiography (NEMRA) of the peripheral arteries.

Methods: The peripheral arteries of 10 volunteers and 6 patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were imaged with the proposed cine NEMRA sequence on a 1.5 Tesla (T) system. The impact of multi-shot imaging and highly constrained back projection (HYPR) reconstruction was examined. The propagation rate of signal along the length of the arterial tree in the cine nonenhanced MR angiograms was quantified.

Results: The cine NEMRA sequence simultaneously provided a static MR angiogram showing vascular anatomy as well as a cine display of arterial pulse wave propagation along the entire length of the peripheral arteries. Multi-shot cine NEMRA improved temporal resolution and reduced image artifacts. HYPR reconstruction improved image quality when temporal reconstruction footprints shorter than 100 ms were used (P < 0.001). Pulse wave propagation within the arterial tree as displayed by cine NEMRA was slower in patients with PAD than in volunteers.

Conclusion: Simultaneous static and cine NEMRA of the peripheral arteries is feasible. Multi-shot acquisition and HYPR reconstruction can be used to improve arterial conspicuity and temporal resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.25008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4016994PMC
October 2014

Noncontrast dynamic 3D intracranial MR angiography using pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) and accelerated 3D radial acquisition.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2014 May 15;39(5):1320-6. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Purpose: To develop a novel dynamic 3D noncontrast magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) technique that combines dynamic pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (dynamic PCASL), accelerated 3D radial sampling (VIPR), and time-of-arrival (TOA) mapping to provide quantitative assessment of arterial flow.

Materials And Methods: Digital simulations were performed to investigate the effects of acquisition scheme and sequence parameters on image quality and TOA mapping fidelity. Five patients with vascular malformations (arteriovenous malformation [AVM] = 3, dural arteriovenous fistula [DAVF] = 2) were scanned and the images were compared to digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the ability to identify the arterial supply, AVM location, nidus size, and venous drainage.

Results: Digital simulations demonstrated reduced image artifacts and improved TOA accuracy using radial acquisition over Cartesian. TOA mapping accuracy is more sensitive to sampling window length than time spacing. Dynamic PCASL MRA depicted seven of eight arterial pedicles, and accurately measured the AVM nidus size when the nidus was compact. The venous drainage in the AVM patients was not consistently visualized.

Conclusion: Dynamic 3D PCASL-VIPR with TOA mapping is able to acquire both high temporal and spatial resolution inflow dynamics that could improve diagnosis of high-flow intracranial vascular diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.24279DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3984365PMC
May 2014

Design of a digital beam attenuation system for computed tomography. Part II. Performance study and initial results.

Med Phys 2013 Feb;40(2):021906

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Purpose: The purpose of this work is to present a performance study of the digital beam attenuator (DBA) for implementing fluence field modulated CT (FFMCT) using a simulation framework developed to model the incorporation of the DBA into an existing CT system. Additionally, initial results will be presented using a prototype DBA and the realization of the prototype will be described. To our knowledge, this study represents the first experimental use of a device capable of modulating x-ray fluence as a function of fan angle using a CT geometry.

Methods: To realize FFMCT, the authors propose to use a wedge design in which one wedge is held stationary and another wedge is moved over the stationary wedge. Due to the wedge shape, the composite thickness of the two wedges changes as a function of the amount of overlap between the wedges. This design allows for the wedges to modulate the photon fluence incident onto a patient. Using a simulation environment, the effect of changing the number of wedges has on dose, scatter, detector dynamic range, and noise uniformity is explored. Experimental results are presented using a prototype DBA having ten Fe wedges and a c-arm CT system geometry. The experimental DBA results are compared to non-DBA scans using scatter and detector dynamic range as metrics. Both flat field and bowtie filtered CT acquisitions were simulated for comparison with the DBA.

Results: Numerical results suggest that substantial gains in noise uniformity and scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR) can be obtained using only seven wedges. After seven wedges, the decrease in noise ununiformity and SPR falls off at a lower rate. Simulations comparing CT acquisitions between flat field, bowtie enabled, and DBA CT acquisitions suggest DBA-FFMCT can reduce dose relative to flat field CT by ≈3 times. A bowtie filter under the same imaging conditions was shown to only allow a dose reduction of 1.65 times. Experimentally, a 10 wedge DBA prototype result showed a SPR reduction of ≈4 times relative to flat field CT. The dynamic range for the DBA prototype was 3.7 compared to 84.2 for the flat field scan.

Conclusions: Based on the results presented in this paper and the companion paper [T. Szczykutowicz and C. Mistretta, "Design of a digital beam attenuation system for computed tomography. Part I. System design and simulation framework," Med. Phys. 40, 021905 (2013)], FFMCT implemented via the DBA device seems feasible and should result in both a dose reduction and an improvement in image quality as judged by noise uniformity and scatter reduction. In addition, the dynamic range reduction achievable using the DBA may allow photon counting imaging to become a clinical reality. This study may allow for yet another step to be taken in the field of patient specific dose modulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4773880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3562279PMC
February 2013

Design of a digital beam attenuation system for computed tomography: part I. System design and simulation framework.

Med Phys 2013 Feb;40(2):021905

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Purpose: The purpose of this work is to introduce a new device that allows for patient-specific imaging-dose modulation in conventional and cone-beam CT. The device is called a digital beam attenuator (DBA). The DBA modulates an x-ray beam by varying the attenuation of a set of attenuating wedge filters across the fan angle. The ability to modulate the imaging dose across the fan beam represents another stride in the direction of personalized medicine. With the DBA, imaging dose can be tailored for a given patient anatomy, or even tailored to provide signal-to-noise ratio enhancement within a region of interest. This modulation enables decreases in: dose, scatter, detector dynamic range requirements, and noise nonuniformities. In addition to introducing the DBA, the simulation framework used to study the DBA under different configurations is presented. Finally, a detailed study on the choice of the material used to build the DBA is presented.

Methods: To change the attenuator thickness, the authors propose to use an overlapping wedge design. In this design, for each wedge pair, one wedge is held stationary and another wedge is moved over the stationary wedge. The composite thickness of the two wedges changes as a function of the amount of overlap between the wedges. To validate the DBA concept and study design changes, a simulation environment was constructed. The environment allows for changes to system geometry, different source spectra, DBA wedge design modifications, and supports both voxelized and analytic phantom models. A study of all the elements from atomic number 1 to 92 were evaluated for use as DBA filter material. The amount of dynamic range and tube loading for each element were calculated for various DBA designs. Tube loading was calculated by comparing the attenuation of the DBA at its minimum attenuation position to a filtered non-DBA acquisition.

Results: The design and parametrization of DBA implemented FFMCT has been introduced. A simulation framework was presented with which DBA-FFMCT, bowtie filter CT acquisitions, and unmodulated CT acquisitions can be simulated. The study on wedge filter design concluded that the ideal filter material should have an atomic number in the range of 21-34. Iron was chosen for an experimental relative-tube-loading measurement and showed that DBA-FFMCT scans could be acquired with negligible increases in tube power demands.

Conclusions: The basic idea of DBA implemented fluence field modulated CT, a simulation framework to verify the concept, and a filter selection study have been presented. The use of a DBA represents another step toward the ultimate in patient specific CT dose delivery as patient dose can be delivered uniquely as a function of view and fan angle using this device.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4773879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3562347PMC
February 2013

Improved kinetic analysis of dynamic PET data with optimized HYPR-LR.

Med Phys 2012 Jun;39(6):3319-31

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Purpose: Highly constrained backprojection-local reconstruction (HYPR-LR) has made a dramatic impact on magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and shows promise for positron emission tomography (PET) because of the improvements in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) it provides dynamic images. For PET in particular, HYPR-LR could improve kinetic analysis methods that are sensitive to noise. In this work, the authors closely examine the performance of HYPR-LR in the context of kinetic analysis, they develop an implementation of the algorithm that can be tailored to specific PET imaging tasks to minimize bias and maximize improvement in variance, and they provide a framework for validating the use of HYPR-LR processing for a particular imaging task.

Methods: HYPR-LR can introduce errors into non sparse PET studies that might bias kinetic parameter estimates. An implementation of HYPR-LR is proposed that uses multiple temporally summed composite images that are formed based on the kinetics of the tracer being studied (HYPR-LR-MC). The effects of HYPR-LR-MC and of HYPR-LR using a full composite formed with all the frames in the study (HYPR-LR-FC) on the kinetic analysis of Pittsburgh compound-B ([11C]-PIB) are studied. HYPR-LR processing is compared to spatial smoothing. HYPR-LR processing was evaluated using both simulated and human studies. Nondisplaceable binding potential (BP(ND)) parametric images were generated from fifty noise realizations of the same numerical phantom and eight [(11)C]-PIB positive human scans before and after HYPR-LR processing or smoothing using the reference region Logan graphical method and receptor parametric mapping (RPM2). The bias and coefficient of variation in the frontal and parietal cortex in the simulated parametric images were calculated to evaluate the absolute performance of HYPR-LR processing. Bias in the human data was evaluated by comparing parametric image BP(ND) values averaged over large regions of interest (ROIs) to Logan estimates of the BP(ND) from TACs averaged over the same ROIs. Variance was assessed qualitatively in the parametric images and semiquantitatively by studying the correlation between voxel BP(ND) estimates from Logan analysis and RPM2.

Results: Both the simulated and human data show that HYPR-LR-FC overestimates BP(ND) values in regions of high [(11)C]-PIB uptake. HYPR-LR-MC virtually eliminates this bias. Both implementations of HYPR-LR reduce variance in the parametric images generated with both Logan analysis and RPM2, and HYPR-LR-FC provides a greater reduction in variance. This reduction in variance nearly eliminates the noise-dependent Logan bias. The variance reduction is greater for the Logan method, particularly for HYPR-LR-MC, and the variance in the resulting Logan images is comparable to that in the RPM2 images. HYPR-LR processing compares favorably with spatial smoothing, particularly when the data are analyzed with the Logan method, as it provides a reduction in variance with no loss of spatial resolution.

Conclusions: HYPR-LR processing shows significant potential for reducing variance in parametric images, and can eliminate the noise-dependent Logan bias. HYPR-LR-FC processing provides the greatest reduction in variance but introduces a positive bias into the BP(ND) of high-uptake border regions. The proposed method for forming HYPR composite images, HYPR-LR-MC, eliminates this bias at the cost of less variance reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4718669DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3371076PMC
June 2012

Time-resolved angiography: Past, present, and future.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2012 Dec 7;36(6):1273-86. Epub 2012 May 7.

Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

The introduction of digital subtraction angiography (DSA) in 1980 provided a method for real time 2D subtraction imaging. Later, 4D magnetic resonance (MR) angiography emerged beginning with techniques like Keyhole and time-resolved imaging of contrast kinetics (TRICKS) that provided frame rates of one every 5 seconds with limited spatial resolution. Undersampled radial acquisition was subsequently developed. The 3D vastly undersampled isotropic projection (VIPR) technique allowed undersampling factors of 30-40. Its combination with phase contrast displays time-resolved flow dynamics within the cardiac cycle and has enabled the measurement of pressure gradients in small vessels. Meanwhile similar accelerations were achieved using Cartesian acquisition with projection reconstruction (CAPR), a Cartesian acquisition with 2D parallel imaging. Further acceleration is provided by constrained reconstruction techniques such as highly constrained back-projection reconstruction (HYPR) and its derivatives, which permit acceleration factors approaching 1000. Hybrid MRA combines a separate phase contrast, time-of flight, or contrast-enhanced acquisition to constrain the reconstruction of contrast-enhanced time frames providing exceptional spatial and temporal resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This can be extended to x-ray imaging where a 3D DSA examination can be used to constrain the reconstruction of time-resolved 3D volumes. Each 4D DSA (time-resolved 3D DSA) frame provides spatial resolution and SNR comparable to 3D DSA, thus removing a major limitation of intravenous DSA. Similar techniques have provided the ability to do 4D fluoroscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.23646DOI Listing
December 2012

Noncontrast-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) intracranial MR angiography using pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling and accelerated 3D radial acquisition.

Magn Reson Med 2013 Mar 24;69(3):708-15. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53705-2275, USA.

Pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (PCASL) can be used to generate noncontrast magnetic resonance angiograms of the cerebrovascular structures. Previously described PCASL-based angiography techniques were limited to two-dimensional projection images or relatively low-resolution three-dimensional (3D) imaging due to long acquisition time. This work proposes a new PCASL-based 3D magnetic resonance angiography method that uses an accelerated 3D radial acquisition technique (VIPR, spoiled gradient echo) as the readout. Benefiting from the sparsity provided by PCASL and noise-like artifacts of VIPR, this new method is able to obtain submillimeter 3D isotropic resolution and whole head coverage with a 8-min scan. Intracranial angiography feasibility studies in healthy (N = 5) and diseased (N = 5) subjects show reduced saturation artifacts in PCASL-VIPR compared with a standard time-of-flight protocol. These initial results show great promise for PCASL-VIPR for static, dynamic, and vessel selective 3D intracranial angiography.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.24298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424331PMC
March 2013

Noise reduction in spectral CT: reducing dose and breaking the trade-off between image noise and energy bin selection.

Med Phys 2011 Sep;38(9):4946-57

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Purpose: Our purpose was to reduce image noise in spectral CT by exploiting data redundancies in the energy domain to allow flexible selection of the number, width, and location of the energy bins.

Methods: Using a variety of spectral CT imaging methods, conventional filtered backprojection (FBP) reconstructions were performed and resulting images were compared to those processed using a Local HighlY constrained backPRojection Reconstruction (HYPR-LR) algorithm. The mean and standard deviation of CT numbers were measured within regions of interest (ROIs), and results were compared between FBP and HYPR-LR. For these comparisons, the following spectral CT imaging methods were used:(i) numerical simulations based on a photon-counting, detector-based CT system, (ii) a photon-counting, detector-based micro CT system using rubidium and potassium chloride solutions, (iii) a commercial CT system equipped with integrating detectors utilizing tube potentials of 80, 100, 120, and 140 kV, and (iv) a clinical dual-energy CT examination. The effects of tube energy and energy bin width were evaluated appropriate to each CT system.

Results: The mean CT number in each ROI was unchanged between FBP and HYPR-LR images for each of the spectral CT imaging scenarios, irrespective of bin width or tube potential. However, image noise, as represented by the standard deviation of CT numbers in each ROI, was reduced by 36%-76%. In all scenarios, image noise after HYPR-LR algorithm was similar to that of composite images, which used all available photons. No difference in spatial resolution was observed between HYPR-LR processing and FBP. Dual energy patient data processed using HYPR-LR demonstrated reduced noise in the individual, low- and high-energy images, as well as in the material-specific basis images.

Conclusions: Noise reduction can be accomplished for spectral CT by exploiting data redundancies in the energy domain. HYPR-LR is a robust method for reducing image noise in a variety of spectral CT imaging systems without losing spatial resolution or CT number accuracy. This method improves the flexibility to select energy bins in the manner that optimizes material identification and separation without paying the penalty of increased image noise or its corollary, increased patient dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3609097DOI Listing
September 2011

Sub-Nyquist acquisition and constrained reconstruction in time resolved angiography.

Med Phys 2011 Jun;38(6):2975-85

University of Wisconsin International Center for Accelerated Medical Imaging, Department of Medical Physics, The University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53704, USA.

In 1980 DSA provided a real time series of digitally processed angiographic images that facilitated and reduced the risk of angiographic procedures. This technique has become an enabling technology for interventional radiology. Initially it was hoped that intravenous DSA could eliminate the need for arterial injections. However the 2D nature of the images resulted in overlap of vessels and repeat injections were often required. Ultimately the use of smaller arterial catheters and reduced iodine injections resulted in significant reduction in complications. During the next two decades time resolved MR DSA angiographic methods were developed that produced time series of 3D images. These 4D displays were initially limited by tradeoffs in temporal and spatial resolution when acquisitions obeying the Nyquist criteria were employed. Then substantial progress was made in the implementation of undersampled non-Cartesian acquisitions such as VIPR and constrained reconstruction methods such as HYPR, which removed this tradeoff and restored SNR usually lost by accelerated techniques. Recently, undersampled acquisition and constrained reconstruction have been applied to generate time series of 3D x-ray DSA volumes reconstructed using rotational C-arm acquisition completing a 30 year evolution from DSA to 4D DSA. These 4D DSA volumes provide a flexible series of roadmaps for interventional procedures and solve the problem of vessel overlap for intravenous angiography. Full time-dependent behavior can be visualized in three dimensions. When a biplane system is used, 4D fluoroscopy is also possible, enabling the interventionalist to track devices in vascular structures from any angle without moving the C-arm gantrys. Constrained reconstruction methods have proved useful in a broad range of medical imaging applications, where substantial acquisition accelerations and dose reductions have been reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3589132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125079PMC
June 2011

Noise reduction and image quality improvement of low dose and ultra low dose brain perfusion CT by HYPR-LR processing.

PLoS One 2011 Feb 11;6(2):e17098. Epub 2011 Feb 11.

Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: To evaluate image quality and signal characteristics of brain perfusion CT (BPCT) obtained by low-dose (LD) and ultra-low-dose (ULD) protocols with and without post-processing by highly constrained back-projection (HYPR)-local reconstruction (LR) technique.

Methods And Materials: Simultaneous BPCTs were acquired in 8 patients on a dual-source-CT by applying LD (80 kV, 200 mAs, 14×1.2 mm) on tube A and ULD (80 kV, 30 mAs, 14×1.2 mm) on tube B. Image data from both tubes was reconstructed with identical parameters and post-processed using the HYPR-LR. Correlation coefficients between mean and maximum (MAX) attenuation values within corresponding ROIs, area under attenuation curve (AUC), and signal to noise ratio (SNR) of brain parenchyma were assessed. Subjective image quality was assessed on a 5-point scale by two blinded observers (1: excellent, 5: non-diagnostic).

Results: Radiation dose of ULD was more than six times lower compared to LD. SNR was improved by HYPR: ULD vs. ULD+HYPR: 1.9±0.3 vs. 8.4±1.7, LD vs. LD+HYPR: 5.0±0.7 vs. 13.4±2.4 (both p<0.0001). There was a good correlation between the original datasets and the HYPR-LR post-processed datasets: r = 0.848 for ULD and ULD+HYPR and r = 0.933 for LD and LD+HYPR (p<0.0001 for both). The mean values of the HYPR-LR post-processed ULD dataset correlated better with the standard LD dataset (r = 0.672) than unprocessed ULD (r = 0.542), but both correlations were significant (p<0.0001). There was no significant difference in AUC or MAX. Image quality was rated excellent (1.3) in LD+HYPR and non-diagnostic (5.0) in ULD. LD and ULD+HYPR images had moderate image quality (3.3 and 2.7).

Conclusion: SNR and image quality of ULD-BPCT can be improved to a level similar to LD-BPCT when using HYPR-LR without distorting attenuation measurements. This can be used to substantially reduce radiation dose. Alternatively, LD images can be improved by HYPR-LR to higher diagnostic quality.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017098PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3037968PMC
February 2011

Automated vessel segmentation using cross-correlation and pooled covariance matrix analysis.

Magn Reson Imaging 2011 Apr 12;29(3):391-400. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA 92103-8226, USA.

Time-resolved contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) provides contrast dynamics in the vasculature and allows vessel segmentation based on temporal correlation analysis. Here we present an automated vessel segmentation algorithm including automated generation of regions of interest (ROIs), cross-correlation and pooled sample covariance matrix analysis. The dynamic images are divided into multiple equal-sized regions. In each region, ROIs for artery, vein and background are generated using an iterative thresholding algorithm based on the contrast arrival time map and contrast enhancement map. Region-specific multi-feature cross-correlation analysis and pooled covariance matrix analysis are performed to calculate the Mahalanobis distances (MDs), which are used to automatically separate arteries from veins. This segmentation algorithm is applied to a dual-phase dynamic imaging acquisition scheme where low-resolution time-resolved images are acquired during the dynamic phase followed by high-frequency data acquisition at the steady-state phase. The segmented low-resolution arterial and venous images are then combined with the high-frequency data in k-space and inverse Fourier transformed to form the final segmented arterial and venous images. Results from volunteer and patient studies demonstrate the advantages of this automated vessel segmentation and dual phase data acquisition technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2010.09.003DOI Listing
April 2011

Dynamic PET denoising with HYPR processing.

J Nucl Med 2010 Jul 16;51(7):1147-54. Epub 2010 Jun 16.

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA.

HighlY constrained backPRojection (HYPR) is a promising image-processing strategy with widespread application in time-resolved MRI that is also well suited for PET applications requiring time series data. The HYPR technique involves the creation of a composite image from the entire time series. The individual time frames then provide the basis for weighting matrices of the composite. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the individual time frames can be dramatically improved using the high SNR of the composite image. In this study, we introduced the modified HYPR algorithm (the HYPR method constraining the backprojections to local regions of interest [HYPR-LR]) for the processing of dynamic PET studies. We demonstrated the performance of HYPR-LR in phantom, small-animal, and human studies using qualitative, semiquantitative, and quantitative comparisons. The results demonstrate that significant improvements in SNR can be realized in the PET time series, particularly for voxel-based analysis, without sacrificing spatial resolution. HYPR-LR processing holds great potential in nuclear medicine imaging for all applications with low SNR in dynamic scans, including for the generation of voxel-based parametric images and visualization of rapid radiotracer uptake and distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.109.073999DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250311PMC
July 2010

PC HYPR flow: a technique for rapid imaging of contrast dynamics.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2010 Feb;31(2):447-56

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Purpose: To improve spatial and temporal resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in three-dimensional (3D) radial contrast-enhanced (CE) time-resolved MR angiography by means of a novel hybrid phase contrast (PC) and CE MRA acquisition and HYPR reconstruction (PC HYPR Flow).

Materials And Methods: PC HYPR Flow consists of a CE exam immediately followed by a PC scan used to constrain the HYPR reconstruction of the time series. Temporal resolution of the new method was studied in computer simulations. The feasibility of the new technique was studied in healthy subjects and patients with brain arteriovenous malformations and in a canine model of aneurysms.

Results: Simulations demonstrated preservation of contrast agent dynamics in proximal vessels, showing better performance than peer methods for acceleration up to 20 in 2D. In vivo, PC HYPR Flow yielded 3D time series with frame rate of 0.5 s and significantly outperformed two peer methods by means of a major increase in spatial resolution (0.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 mm(3)) and arterial/venous ratio, while maintaining necessary temporal waveform fidelity and high SNR.

Conclusion: This initial study indicates that PC HYPR Flow simultaneously provides 3D isotropic sub-millimeter spatial resolution, sub-second temporal reconstruction windows and high SNR level, which may benefit a wide range of CE MRA applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.22035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897749PMC
February 2010

Periodic contrast-enhanced computed tomography for thermal ablation monitoring: a feasibility study.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2009 ;2009:4299-302

Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Image-guided tumor ablation is rapidly gaining acceptance for treating many tumors. While imaging diagnosis, treatment targeting and follow-up continue to improve, little progress has been made in developing practical imaging techniques for monitoring ablation treatments. In this study we demonstrate the feasibility of using contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) to monitor ablation zone growth with 2 min temporal resolution. Highly constrained back-projection (HYPR) post-processing is applied to the time-series of CECT images, improving image quality by a factor of four after acquiring ten time frames. Such improvements limit the amount of radiation and iodinated contrast material required to visualize the ablation zone, especially at early time points. Additional study of periodic CECT with HYPR processing appears warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5333500DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929912PMC
April 2010

CE-MRA of the lower extremities using HYPR stack-of-stars.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2009 Apr;29(4):917-23

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Purpose: To investigate the properties of HYPR (HighlY constrained back PRojection) processing-the temporal fidelity and the improvements of spatial/temporal resolution-for contrast-enhanced MR angiography in a pilot study of the lower extremities in healthy volunteers.

Materials And Methods: HYPR processing with a radial three-dimensional (3D) stack-of-stars acquisition was investigated for contrast-enhanced MR angiography of the lower extremities in 15 healthy volunteers. HYPR images were compared with control images acquired using a fast, multiphase, 2D Cartesian method to verify the temporal fidelity of HYPR. HYPR protocols were developed for achieving either a high frame update rate or a minimal slice thickness by adjusting the acquisition parameters. HYPR images were compared with images obtained using 3D TRICKS, a widely used protocol in dynamic 3D MRA.

Results: HYPR images showed good temporal agreement with 2D control images. In comparison with TRICKS, HYPR stack-of-stars demonstrated higher spatial and temporal resolution. High radial undersampling factors for each time frame were permitted, typically approximately 50 to 100 compared with fully sampled radial imaging.

Conclusion: In this feasibility study, HYPR processing has been demonstrated to improve the spatial or temporal resolution in peripheral CE-MRA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.21733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690646PMC
April 2009

Undersampled radial MR acquisition and highly constrained back projection (HYPR) reconstruction: potential medical imaging applications in the post-Nyquist era.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2009 Mar;29(3):501-16

UW International Center for Accelerated Medical Imaging, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

During the past several years there has been extensive study of alternative MR acquisition strategies such as spiral and radial. Vastly undersampled imaging with projections (VIPR) is a three-dimensional (3D) radial acquisition that provides acceptable images while violating the Nyquist theorem by factors of up to several hundred. For applications like magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), VIPR provides sparse data sets with incoherent artifacts that satisfy the requirements of emerging reconstruction approaches like iterative image norm minimization (compressed sensing) and highly constrained back projection (HYPR). All of these tools can be used in combination with parallel imaging to provide extremely high acceleration factors in MRI. In this review we do not attempt to do justice to the many exciting developments in the general field of constrained reconstruction but focus on preliminary results using VIPR and HYPR for non-Cartesian, Nyquist-violating MRI and the extension of HYPR processing to a broad range of medical imaging applications in which the acquisitions satisfy the Nyquist theorem but lack sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), leading to the possibility of radiation reduction, increased ultrasound resolution and field-of-view, and improved dynamic display of radiotracers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.21683DOI Listing
March 2009

Improved 3D phase contrast MRI with off-resonance corrected dual echo VIPR.

Magn Reson Med 2008 Dec;60(6):1329-36

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53792-3252, USA.

Phase contrast (PC) magnetic resonance imaging with a three-dimensional, radially undersampled acquisition allows for the acquisition of high resolution angiograms and velocimetry in dramatically reduced scan times. However, such an acquisition is sensitive to blurring and artifacts from off-resonance and trajectory errors. A dual-echo trajectory is proposed with a novel trajectory calibration from prescan data coupled with a multi-frequency reconstruction to correct for these errors. Comparisons of phantom data and in vivo results from volunteer, and patients with arteriovenous malformations patients are presented with and without these corrections and show significant improvement of image quality when both corrections are applied. The results demonstrate significantly improved visualization of vessels, allowing for highly accelerated PC acquisitions without sacrifice in image quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.21763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2778052PMC
December 2008

Evaluation of temporal and spatial characteristics of 2D HYPR processing using simulations.

Magn Reson Med 2008 May;59(5):1090-8

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA.

Highly constrained back-projection (HYPR) is a data acquisition and reconstruction method that provides very rapid frame update rates and very high spatial resolution for a time series of images while maintaining a good signal-to-noise ratio and high image quality. In this study we used simulations to evaluate the temporal and spatial characteristics of images produced using the HYPR algorithm. The simulations demonstrate that spatial accuracy is well maintained in the images and the temporal changes in signal intensity are represented with high fidelity. The waveforms representing signal intensity as a function of time obtained from regions-of-interest placed in simulated objects track the true curves very well, with variations from the truth occurring only when objects with very different temporal behavior are very close to each other. However, even when objects with different temporal characteristics are touching, their influences on each other are small.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.21564DOI Listing
May 2008

Improved waveform fidelity using local HYPR reconstruction (HYPR LR).

Magn Reson Med 2008 Mar;59(3):456-62

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53792-3252, USA.

The recently introduced HYPR (HighlY constrained backPRojection) method allows reconstruction of serial images from highly undersampled data. In HYPR, individual timeframes are obtained via unfiltered backprojections of normalized sinograms using anatomical constraints provided by a composite image. Here we develop the idea of constraining the backprojected data further to a series of local regions of interest in order to decrease the corruption of local information by distant signals. HYPR LR (local reconstruction) permits the use of a longer temporal window in the formation of the composite image, resulting in increased signal-to-noise ratio and quantitative reconstruction accuracy. Unlike HYPR, the new HYPR LR method can be applied to images acquired with arbitrary k-space trajectories. It is suitable for a broad range of medical imaging applications involving serial changes in image sequence, offering exciting new opportunities in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.21505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2361097PMC
March 2008

Transstenotic pressure gradients: measurement in swine--retrospectively ECG-gated 3D phase-contrast MR angiography versus endovascular pressure-sensing guidewires.

Radiology 2007 Dec;245(3):751-60

Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, 600 Highland Ave, CSC E3/311, Madison, WI 53792, USA.

Purpose: To prospectively evaluate the hypothesis that retrospectively electrocardiographically gated phase contrast with vastly undersampled isotropic projection reconstruction (VIPR) magnetic resonance (MR) angiography data sets can be used to measure transstenotic pressure gradients (TSPGs) in vivo.

Materials And Methods: TSPGs were calculated by using phase-contrast VIPR MR angiography data sets; measurements obtained with a pair of endovascular pressure-sensing guidewires served as a reference standard. With institutional animal care and use committee approval, 12 swine underwent surgical creation of stenoses at the left common carotid, right renal, and left external iliac arteries. The percentage stenosis and reference diameter of the lesions were calculated from conventional digital subtraction angiograms. A pair of 0.014-inch pressure-sensing guidewires was placed in tandem; sensors 1 cm distal and 1 cm proximal to the lesions measured the mean TSPG. Phase-contrast VIPR phase difference images were analyzed with an iterative technique based on the Navier-Stokes equations to determine the mean TSPG. Pearson product correlation was calculated, and Bland-Altman plots were generated to determine the degree of agreement between the two methods.

Results: Twenty-one lesions (12 carotid, nine iliac; mean percentage stenosis, 52.4%; range, 29.8%-64.9%; mean reference diameter, 3.4 mm; range, 2.4-5.6 mm) were analyzed. For carotid and iliac lesions, phase-contrast VIPR and guidewire TSPG measurements were highly correlated (r = 0.952, P < .001). Bland-Altman plots (bias, 0.86 mm Hg; limits of agreement: -6.17 to 7.88 mm Hg) showed good agreement. Measurements in renal lesions (n = 9) were poorly correlated (r = -0.081, P = .835) and were excluded because of image degradation secondary to respiratory motion.

Conclusion: Phase-contrast MR angiography with VIPR enables reliable measurements of TSPG in carotid and iliac lesions that are comparable to those obtained with endovascular pressure-sensing guidewires. However, further work to compensate for respiratory motion is required to extend this technique to the renal arteries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2453061946DOI Listing
December 2007

Whole-body MR angiography using variable density sampling and dual-injection bolus-chase acquisition.

Magn Reson Imaging 2008 Feb 10;26(2):181-7. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

Department of Medical Physics and Radiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53792, USA.

Conventional bolus-chase acquisition generates peripheral runoff images using a single injection of the contrast material. Low spatial resolution, small slice coverage and venous contamination are major problems especially in the distal stations. A technique is presented herein in which whole-body magnetic resonance angiography is performed using a dual-contrast-injection four-station acquisition protocol. Bolus sharing was performed between two stations: the abdomen and calf stations share the first bolus injection, while the thorax and thigh stations share the second bolus injection. The combination of variable density sampling and elliptical centric acquisition order was applied to the abdomen and thorax stations. The scan time was extended to generate high spatial resolution arterial phase images with broad slice coverage for the calf and thigh stations. The feasibility of this technique was demonstrated using phantom and in vivo human volunteer studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mri.2007.06.005DOI Listing
February 2008

Time-resolved contrast-enhanced carotid imaging using undersampled projection reconstruction acquisition.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2007 May;25(5):1093-9

Department of Medical Physics and Radiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Purpose: To investigate the utility of nonuniform angular spacing of projections in a three-dimensional (3D) hybrid undersampled projection reconstruction (PR) acquisition for contrast-enhanced (CE) time-resolved carotid imaging.

Materials And Methods: Carotid CE magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) was performed on seven healthy volunteers using a time-resolved hybrid sequence that combined undersampled PR acquisition in-plane and Cartesian slice encoding through-plane. The undersampling streak artifact comes mainly from the superior-inferior (S/I) direction in carotid imaging and is suppressed by nonuniform distribution of the projections. Phantom and volunteer studies were performed to demonstrate its efficacy.

Results: The undersampling streak artifact was significantly suppressed through a nonuniform distribution of the projection angles with more projections aligned along the S/I direction. The hybrid PR sequence combined with nonuniform distribution of the projection angles provided time-resolved images of the carotid arteries with high temporal resolution (two seconds per frame) and high spatial resolution (1.0 x 1.0 x 1.5 mm(3)) simultaneously.

Conclusion: High-resolution dynamic imaging of the carotid arteries is feasible with the use of a hybrid undersampled PR acquisition. Undersampling streak artifact can be suppressed significantly through nonuniform distribution of the projections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.20890DOI Listing
May 2007

Dynamic MR venography: an intrinsic benefit of time-resolved MR angiography.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2006 Oct;24(4):922-7

Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Purpose: To investigate the possibility of obtaining dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance venography (DCE-MRV) images of the lower extremities.

Materials And Methods: Peripheral contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) was performed on 20 patients using a time-resolved sequence that combined undersampled projection reconstruction (PR) in-plane and Cartesian slice encoding through-plane. The contrast dynamics of distal vessels were depicted. An automated segmentation algorithm based on a contrast arrival time (CAT) threshold was used to generate contrast dynamics in the venous system. The signal difference between the vein and artery was measured to evaluate the effectiveness of this technique in isolating the venous contrast dynamics.

Results: The automatically generated image series depicted the contrast dynamics of both the arterial and venous systems, including asymmetric venous enhancement and background tissue enhancement. Quantitative measurement showed a mean venous/arterial signal ratio increase from 1.58 to 4.82 for the peak venous frame after arterial signal suppression.

Conclusion: DCE-MRV is a minimally invasive technique for evaluating the venous side of the systemic vascular anatomy. Time-resolved MRA has the potential clinical benefit of enabling both arterial and venous disease to be detected in patients undergoing CE-MRA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.20716DOI Listing
October 2006
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