Accelerated multi-contrast high isotropic resolution 3D intracranial vessel wall MRI using a tailored k-space undersampling and partially parallel reconstruction strategy

MAGMA. 2019 Jun;32(3):343-357. doi: 10.1007/s10334-018-0730-8. Epub 2019 Jan 3.


Objective: To develop a 3D multi-contrast IVW protocol with 0.5-mm isotropic resolution and a scan time of 5 min per sequence.

Materials and methods: Pre-contrast T1w VISTA, DANTE prepared PDw VISTA, SNAP, and post-contrast T1w VISTA were accelerated using cartesian undersampling with target ordering method (CUSTOM) and self-supporting tailored k-space estimation for parallel imaging reconstruction (STEP). CUSTOM + STEP IVW was compared to full-sample IVW, SENSE-accelerated IVW, and CUSTOM + zero-filled Fourier reconstruction in normal volunteers and subjects with intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD). Image quality, vessel delineation, CSF suppression, and blood suppression were compared.

Results: CUSTOM + STEP vessel wall delineation was comparable to full-sample IVW and better than SENSE IVW for vessel wall delineation on T1w VISTA and luminal contrast on SNAP. Average image quality and wall depiction were significantly improved using STEP reconstruction compared with zero-filled Fourier reconstruction, with no significant difference in CSF or blood suppression.

Conclusions: CUSTOM + STEP allowed multi-contrast 3D 0.5-mm isotropic IVW within 30 min. Although some quantitative and qualitative scores for CUSTOM - STEP were lower than fully sampled IVW, CUSTOM + STEP provided comparable vessel wall delineation as full-sample IVW and was superior to SENSE. CUSTOM + STEP IVW was well tolerated by patients and showed good delineation of ICAD plaque.

Keywords: Cerebrovascular stroke; Intracranial atherosclerosis; Magnetic resonance imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Time Factors


  • Contrast Media