Korean J Radiol.  2019 Feb;20(2):265-274. 10.3348/kjr.2017.0634.

Accelerated Time-of-Flight Magnetic Resonance Angiography with Sparse Undersampling and Iterative Reconstruction for the Evaluation of Intracranial Arteries

  • 1Department of Radiology, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China. sjy080512@163.com
  • 2MR Collaboration NEA, Siemens Healthineers Ltd., Beijing, China.
  • 3MR Collaboration NEA, Siemens Healthineers Ltd., Shanghai, China.
  • 4Siemens Healthineers GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.


To compare the image quality of three-dimensional time-of-flight (TOF) magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) with sparse undersampling and iterative reconstruction (sparse TOF) with that of conventional TOF MRA.
This study included 56 patients who had undergone sparse TOF MRA for intracranial artery evaluation on a 3T MR scanner. Conventional TOF MRA scans were also acquired from 29 patients with matched acquisition times and another 27 patients with matched scanning parameters. The image quality was scored using a five-point scale based on the delineation of arterial vessel segments, artifacts, overall vessel visualization, and overall image quality by two radiologists independently, and the data were analyzed using the non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Contrast ratios (CRs) of vessels were compared using the paired t test. Interobserver agreement was calculated using the kappa test.
Compared with conventional TOF at the same spatial resolution, sparse TOF with an acceleration factor of 3.5 could reduce acquisition time by 40% and showed comparable image quality. In addition, when compared with conventional TOF with the same acquisition time, sparse TOF with an acceleration factor of 5 could also achieve higher spatial resolution, better delineation of vessel segments, fewer artifacts, higher image quality, and a higher CR (p < 0.05). Good-to-excellent interobserver agreement (κ: 0.65-1.00) was obtained between the two radiologists.
Compared with conventional TOF, sparse TOF can achieve equivalent image quality in a reduced duration. Furthermore, using the same acquisition time, sparse TOF could improve the delineation of vessels and decrease image artifacts.


Time-of-Flight (TOF); Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA); Intracranial vessels; Sparse; Iterative reconstruction
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