Imposing spatio-temporal support in magnetic resonance angiographic imaging
A method to improve time resolution in 3D contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) is proposed. A temporal basis based on prior knowledge of the contrast flow dynamics is applied to a sequence of image reconstructions. In CE-MRA a contrast agent (gadolinium) is injected into a peripheral vein and MR data is acquired as the agent arrives in the arteries and then the veins of the region of clinical interest. The acquisition extends over several minutes. Information is effectively measured in 3D k-space (spatial frequency space) one line at-atime. That line may be along a Cartesian grid line in k-space, a radial line or a spiral trajectory. A complete acquisition comprises many such lines but in order to improve temporal resolution, reconstructions are made from only partial sets of k-space data. By imposing a basis for the temporal changes, based on prior expectation of the smoothness of the changes in contrast concentration with time, it is demonstrated that a significant reduction in artifacts caused by the under-sampling of k-space can be achieved. The basis is formed from a set of gamma variate functions. Results are presented for a simulated set of 2D spiral-sampled CE-MRA data.