Rapid dealiasing of undersampled, non-Cartesian cardiac perfusion images using U-net

Lexiaozi Fan, Daming Shen, Hassan Haji-Valizadeh, Nivedita K. Naresh, James C. Carr, Benjamin H. Freed, Daniel C. Lee, Daniel Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Compressed sensing (CS) is a promising method for accelerating cardiac perfusion MRI to achieve clinically acceptable image quality with high spatial resolution (1.6 × 1.6 × 8 mm3) and extensive myocardial coverage (6–8 slices per heartbeat). A major disadvantage of CS is its relatively lengthy processing time (~8 min per slice with 64 frames using a graphics processing unit), thereby making it impractical for clinical translation. The purpose of this study was to implement and test whether an image reconstruction pipeline including a neural network is capable of reconstructing 6.4-fold accelerated, non-Cartesian (radial) cardiac perfusion k-space data at least 10 times faster than CS, without significant loss in image quality. We implemented a 3D (2D + time) U-Net and trained it with 132 2D + time datasets (coil combined, zero filled as input; CS reconstruction as reference) with 64 time frames from 28 patients (8448 2D images in total). For testing, we used 56 2D + time coil-combined, zero-filled datasets (3584 2D images in total) from 12 different patients as input to our trained U-Net, and compared the resulting images with CS reconstructed images using quantitative metrics of image quality and visual scores (conspicuity of wall enhancement, noise, artifacts; each score ranging from 1 (worst) to 5 (best), with 3 defined as clinically acceptable) evaluated by readers. Including pre- and post-processing steps, compared with CS, U-Net significantly reduced the reconstruction time by 14.4-fold (32.1 ± 1.4 s for U-Net versus 461.3 ± 16.9 s for CS, p < 0.001), while maintaining high data fidelity (structural similarity index = 0.914 ± 0.023, normalized root mean square error = 1.7 ± 0.3%, identical mean edge sharpness of 1.2 mm). The median visual summed score was not significantly different (p = 0.053) between CS (14; interquartile range (IQR) = 0.5) and U-Net (12; IQR = 0.5). This study shows that the proposed pipeline with a U-Net is capable of reconstructing 6.4-fold accelerated, non-Cartesian cardiac perfusion k-space data 14.4 times faster than CS, without significant loss in data fidelity or image quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4239
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020



  • U-net
  • cardiac perfusion
  • compressed sensing
  • deep learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy

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