Generation and visualization of four-dimensional MR angiography data using an undersampled 3-D projection trajectory

IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2006 Feb;25(2):148-57. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2005.861706.


Time-resolved contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiography (CE-MRA) has gained in popularity relative to X-ray Digital Subtraction Angiography because it provides three-dimensional (3-D) spatial resolution and it is less invasive. We have previously presented methods that improve temporal resolution in CE-MRA while providing high spatial resolution by employing an undersampled 3-D projection (3D PR) trajectory. The increased coverage and isotropic resolution of the 3D PR acquisition simplify visualization of the vasculature from any perspective. We present a new algorithm to develop a set of time-resolved 3-D image volumes by preferentially weighting the 3D PR data according to its acquisition time. An iterative algorithm computes a series of density compensation functions for a regridding reconstruction, one for each time frame, that exploit the variable sampling density in 3D PR. The iterative weighting procedure simplifies the calculation of appropriate density compensation for arbitrary sampling patterns, which improve sampling efficiency and, thus, signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio, since it is does not require a closed-form calculation based on geometry. Current medical workstations can display these large four-dimensional studies, however, interactive cine animation of the data is only possible at significantly degraded resolution. Therefore, we also present a method for interactive visualization using powerful graphics cards and distributed processing. Results from volunteer and patient studies demonstrate the advantages of dynamic imaging with high spatial resolution.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Time Factors
  • User-Computer Interface*