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Diagnostic quality assessment of compressed SENSE accelerated magnetic resonance images in standard neuroimaging protocol: Choosing the right acceleration

      Highlights

      • CS-SENSE accelerated images show diagnostic quality similar to conventional images.
      • CS-SENSE does not affect equally diagnostic quality of different sequences.
      • CS-SENSE has different effect on different anatomical structures within the image.
      • Noise enhancement and global ringing are two primary artifacts identified.
      • Special attention should be given to exact choice of CS factor for various clinical MRI context.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To investigate the impact of compressed sensing – sensitivity encoding (CS-SENSE) acceleration factor on the diagnostic quality of magnetic resonance images within standard brain protocol.

      Methods

      Three routine clinical neuroimaging sequences were chosen for this study due to their long acquisition time: T2-weighted turbo spin echo (TSE), fluid - attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), and 3D time of flight (TOF). Fully sampled reference scans and multiple prospectively 2x to 5x undersampled CS scans were acquired. Retrospectively, undersampled scans were compared to fully sampled scans and visually assessed for image quality and diagnostic quality by three independent radiologists.

      Results

      Images obtained with CS-SENSE accelerated acquisition were of diagnostically acceptable quality at up to 3x acceleration for T2 TSE (average qualitative score 3.53 on a 4-point scale, with the acquisition time reduction of 64%), up to 2x for FLAIR (average qualitative score 3.27, with the acquisition time reduction of 43%) and 4x acceleration for 3D TOF sequence (average qualitative score 3.13, with the acquisition time reduction of 73%). There were no substantial differences between the readers’ diagnostic quality scores (p > 0.05).

      Conclusions

      CS-SENSE accelerated T2 TSE, FLAIR, and 3D TOF sequences of the brain show image quality similar to that of conventional acquisitions with reduced acquisition time. CS-SENSE can moderately reduce scan time, providing many benefits without losing the image quality.

      Abbreviations:

      CS (compressed sensing), PI (parallel imaging), CS-SENSE (compressed sense-sensitivity encoding), TSE (turbo spin echo), FLAIR (fluid attenuated inversion recovery), TOF (time of flight)

      Keywords

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