TU-F-17A-04: Respiratory Phase-Resolved 3D MRI with Isotropic High Spatial Resolution: Determination of the Average Breathing Motion Pattern for Abdominal Radiotherapy Planning




To develop a retrospective 4D-MRI technique (respiratory phase-resolved 3D-MRI) for providing an accurate assessment of tumor motion secondary to respiration.


A 3D projection reconstruction (PR) sequence with self-gating (SG) was developed for 4D-MRI on a 3.0T MRI scanner. The respiration-induced shift of the imaging target was recorded by SG signals acquired in the superior-inferior direction every 15 radial projections (i.e. temporal resolution 98 ms). A total of 73000 radial projections obtained in 8-min were retrospectively sorted into 10 time-domain evenly distributed respiratory phases based on the SG information. Ten 3D image sets were then reconstructed offline. The technique was validated on a motion phantom (gadolinium-doped water-filled box, frequency of 10 and 18 cycles/min) and humans (4 healthy and 2 patients with liver tumors). Imaging protocol included 8-min 4D-MRI followed by 1-min 2D-realtime (498 ms/frame) MRI as a reference.


The multiphase 3D image sets with isotropic high spatial resolution (1.56 mm) permits flexible image reformatting and visualization. No intra-phase motion-induced blurring was observed. Comparing to 2D-realtime, 4D-MRI yielded similar motion range (phantom: 10.46 vs. 11.27 mm; healthy subject: 25.20 vs. 17.9 mm; patient: 11.38 vs. 9.30 mm), reasonable displacement difference averaged over the 10 phases (0.74mm; 3.63mm; 1.65mm), and excellent cross-correlation (0.98; 0.96; 0.94) between the two displacement series.


Our preliminary study has demonstrated that the 4D-MRI technique can provide high-quality respiratory phase-resolved 3D images that feature: a) isotropic high spatial resolution, b) a fixed scan time of 8 minutes, c) an accurate estimate of average motion pattern, and d) minimal intra-phase motion artifact. This approach has the potential to become a viable alternative solution to assess the impact of breathing on tumor motion and determine appropriate treatment margins. Comparison with 4D-CT in a clinical setting is warranted to assess the value of 4D-MRI in radiotherapy planning.

This work supported in part by grant 1R03CA173273-01