Spiral phyllotaxis: The natural way to construct a 3D radial trajectory in MRI



While radial 3D acquisition has been discussed in cardiac MRI for its excellent results with radial undersampling, the self-navigating properties of the trajectory need yet to be exploited. Hence, the radial trajectory has to be interleaved such that the first readout of every interleave starts at the top of the sphere, which represents the shell covering all readouts. If this is done sub-optimally, the image quality might be degraded by eddy current effects, and advanced density compensation is needed. In this work, an innovative 3D radial trajectory based on a natural spiral phyllotaxis pattern is introduced, which features optimized interleaving properties: (1) overall uniform readout distribution is preserved, which facilitates simple density compensation, and (2) if the number of interleaves is a Fibonacci number, the interleaves self-arrange such that eddy current effects are significantly reduced. These features were theoretically assessed in comparison with two variants of an interleaved Archimedean spiral pattern. Furthermore, the novel pattern was compared with one of the Archimedean spiral patterns, with identical density compensation, in phantom experiments. Navigator-gated whole-heart coronary imaging was performed in six healthy volunteers. High reduction of eddy current artifacts and overall improvement in image quality were achieved with the novel trajectory. Magn Reson Med, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.