Aortic 4D flow MRI in 2 minutes using compressed sensing, respiratory controlled adaptive k-space reordering, and inline reconstruction

Liliana E. Ma, Michael Markl, Kelvin Chow, Hyungkyu Huh, Christoph Forman, Alireza Vali, Andreas Greiser, James Carr, Susanne Schnell, Alex J. Barker, Ning Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy and feasibility of a free-breathing 4D flow technique using compressed sensing (CS), where 4D flow imaging of the thoracic aorta is performed in 2 min with inline image reconstruction on the MRI scanner in less than 5 min. Methods: The 10 in vitro 4D flow MRI scans were performed with different acceleration rates on a pulsatile flow phantom (9 CS acceleration factors [R = 5.4–14.1], 1 generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisition [GRAPPA] R = 2). Based on in vitro results, CS-accelerated 4D flow of the thoracic aorta was acquired in 20 healthy volunteers (38.3 ± 15.2 years old) and 11 patients with aortic disease (61.3 ± 15.1 years) with R = 7.7. A conventional 4D flow scan was acquired with matched spatial coverage and temporal resolution. Results: CS depicted similar hemodynamics to conventional 4D flow in vitro, and in vivo, with >70% reduction in scan time (volunteers: 1:52 ± 0:25 versus 7:25 ± 2:35 min). Net flow values were within 3.5% in healthy volunteers, and voxel-by-voxel comparison demonstrated good agreement. CS significantly underestimated peak velocities (vmax) and peak flow (Qmax) in both volunteers and patients (volunteers: vmax, −16.2% to −9.4%, Qmax: −11.6% to −2.9%, patients: vmax, −11.2% to −4.0%; Qmax, −10.2% to −5.8%). Conclusion: Aortic 4D flow with CS is feasible in a two minute scan with less than 5 min for inline reconstruction. While net flow agreement was excellent, CS with R = 7.7 produced underestimation of Qmax and vmax; however, these were generally within 13% of conventional 4D flow-derived values. This approach allows 4D flow to be feasible in clinical practice for comprehensive assessment of hemodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3675-3690
Number of pages16
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • 4D flow
  • aorta
  • cardiovascular
  • compressed sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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