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Echo planar imaging-induced errors in intracardiac 4D flow MRI quantification

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Purpose To assess errors associated with EPI-accelerated intracardiac 4D flow MRI (4DEPI) with EPI factor 5, compared with non-EPI gradient echo (4DGRE). Methods Three 3T MRI experiments were performed comparing 4DEPI to 4DGRE: steady flow through straight tubes, pulsatile flow in a left-ventricle phantom, and intracardiac flow in 10 healthy volunteers. For each experiment, 4DEPI was repeated with readout and blip phase-encoding gradient in different orientations, parallel or perpendicular to the flow direction. In vitro flow rates were compared with timed volumetric collection. In the left-ventricle phantom and in vivo, voxel-based speed and spatio-temporal median speed were compared between sequences, as well as mitral and aortic transvalvular net forward volume. Results In steady-flow phantoms, the flow rate error was largest (12%) for high velocity (>2 m/s) with 4DEPI readout gradient parallel to the flow. Voxel-based speed and median speed in the left-ventricle phantom were <= 5.5% different between sequences. In vivo, mean net forward volume inconsistency was largest (6.4 +/- 8.5%) for 4DEPI with nonblip phase-encoding gradient parallel to the main flow. The difference in median speed for 4DEPI versus 4DGRE was largest (9%) when the 4DEPI readout gradient was parallel to the flow. Conclusions Velocity and flow rate are inaccurate for 4DEPI with EPI factor 5 when flow is parallel to the readout or blip phase-encoding gradient. However, mean differences in flow rate, voxel-based speed, and spatio-temporal median speed were acceptable (<= 10%) when comparing 4DEPI to 4DGRE for intracardiac flow in healthy volunteers.
ISSN: 1522-2594
Issue: 5
Volume: 87
Pages: 2398 - 2411
Publication year:2022