PURPOSE: To develop a free-breathing (FB) 2D radial balanced steady-state free precession cine cardiac MRI method with 100% respiratory gating efficiency using respiratory auto-calibrated motion correction (RAMCO) based on a motion-sensing camera.
METHODS: The signal from a respiratory motion-sensing camera was recorded during a FB retrospectively electrocardiogram triggered 2D radial balanced steady-state free precession acquisition using pseudo-tiny-golden-angle ordering. With RAMCO, for each acquisition the respiratory signal was retrospectively auto-calibrated by applying different linear translations, using the resulting in-plane image sharpness as a criterium. The auto-calibration determines the optimal magnitude of the linear translations for each of the in-plane directions to minimize motion blurring caused by bulk respiratory motion. Additionally, motion-weighted density compensation was applied during radial gridding to minimize through-plane and non-bulk motion blurring. Left ventricular functional parameters and sharpness scores of FB radial cine were compared with and without RAMCO, and additionally with conventional breath-hold Cartesian cine on 9 volunteers.
RESULTS: FB radial cine with RAMCO had similar sharpness scores as conventional breath-hold Cartesian cine and the left ventricular functional parameters agreed. For FB radial cine, RAMCO reduced respiratory motion artifacts with a statistically significant difference in sharpness scores (P < 0.05) compared to reconstructions without motion correction.
CONCLUSION: 2D radial cine imaging with RAMCO allows evaluation of left ventricular functional parameters in FB with 100% respiratory efficiency. It eliminates the need for breath-holds, which is especially valuable for patients with no or impaired breath-holding capacity. Validation of the proposed method on patients is warranted.