Purpose: To improve segmented cardiac MRI image quality during arrhythmia. Methods: Electrocardiogram (ECG) and respiratory waveforms were recorded during imaging. Imaging readouts were retrospectively classified into heartbeat-types based on the RR interval of the current and preceding beats, QRS morphology, and respiratory phase. Image data were sorted by these classifiers to generate separate cine images of different heartbeat-types during sinus rhythm and arrhythmia. A simulation study evaluated the efficiency of K-space sampling over a range of heart rhythms, heart rates, and respiratory rates. In vivo imaging was performed in volunteers with sinus rhythm, swine with arrhythmia simulated by pacing, and a human subject with spontaneous premature beats. Results: K-space sampling uniformity and image quality incrementally improve with additional occurrences of the desired normal sinus or arrhythmia heartbeat-type. To approach the image quality of breath-hold imaging, sufficiently restrictive gating parameters are required. Compared with real-time imaging, retrospective gated images had reduced noise and improved sharpness while maintaining desired cine temporal resolution. Variations of cardiac function between arrhythmia heartbeats could be observed in arrhythmia imaging cases that are not captured by conventional segmented imaging. Conclusion: Retrospective ECG and respiratory gating permits imaging of various heartbeats during arrhythmia with fewer resolution restrictions compared to real-time imaging. For a fixed imaging time, imaging quality depends on frequency of the imaged heartbeat-type. Imaging additional heartbeats permits incremental improvement in image quality.
- cardiac imaging
- radial imaging
- retrospective gating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging