Turbo fast three-dimensional carotid artery black-blood MRI by combining three-dimensional MERGE sequence with compressed sensing




In this study, we sought to investigate the feasibility of turbo fast three-dimensional (3D) black-blood imaging by combining a 3D motion-sensitizing driven equilibrium rapid gradient echo sequence with compressed sensing.


A pseudo-centric phase encoding order was developed for compressed sensing-3D motion-sensitizing driven equilibrium rapid gradient echo to suppress flow signal in undersampled 3D k-space. Nine healthy volunteers were recruited for this study. Signal-to-tissue ratio, contrast-to-tissue ratio (CTR) and CTR efficiency (CTReff) between fully sampled and undersampled images were calculated and compared in seven subjects. Moreover, isotropic high resolution images using different compressed sensing acceleration factors were evaluated in two other subjects.


Wall-lumen signal-to-tissue ratio or CTR were comparable between the undersampled and the fully sampled images, while significant improvement of CTReff was achieved in the undersampled images. At an isotropic high spatial resolution of 0.7 × 0.7 × 0.7 mm3, all undersampled images exhibited similar level of the flow suppression efficiency and the capability of delineating outer vessel wall boundary and lumen-wall interface, when compared with the fully sampled images.


The proposed turbo fast compressed sensing 3D black-blood imaging technique improves scan efficiency without sacrificing flow suppression efficiency and vessel wall image quality. It could be a valuable tool for rapid 3D vessel wall imaging. Magn Reson Med 70:1347–1352, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.