Robust abdominal imaging with incomplete breath-holds




Breath-holding is an established strategy for reducing motion artifacts in abdominal imaging. However, the breath-holding capabilities of patients are often overstrained by scans with large coverage and high resolution. In this work, a new strategy for coping with resulting incomplete breath-holds in abdominal imaging is suggested.


A sampling pattern is designed to support image reconstruction from undersampled data acquired up to any point in time using compressed sensing and parallel imaging. In combination with a navigator-based detection of the onset of respiration, it allows scan termination and thus reconstruction only from consistent data, which suppresses motion artifacts. The spatial resolution is restricted by a lower bound of the sampling density and is increased over the scan, to strike a compromise with the signal-to-noise ratio and undersampling artifacts for any breath-hold duration.


The sampling pattern is optimized in phantom experiments and is successfully applied in abdominal gradient-echo imaging including water-fat separation on volunteers.


The new strategy provides images in which motion artifacts are minimized independent of the breath-holding capabilities of patients, and which enhance in terms of spatial resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and undersampling artifacts with the a priori unknown breath-hold duration actually achieved in a particular scan. Magn Reson Med 71:1733–1742, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.