Volumetric phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging with three-dimensional velocity encoding (4D flow MRI) has shown utility as a non-invasive tool to examine altered blood flow in chronic liver disease. Novel 4D flow MRI pulse sequences with spatio-temporal acceleration can mitigate the long acquisition times of standard 4D flow MRI, which are an impediment to clinical adoption. The purpose of our study was to demonstrate feasibility of a free-breathing, spatio-temporal (k−t) accelerated 4D flow MRI acquisition for flow quantification in abdominal vessels and to compare its image quality, flow quantification and inter-observer reproducibility with a standard respiratory navigator-gated 4D flow MRI acquisition. Ten prospectively enrolled patients (M/F: 7/3, mean age = 58y) with suspected portal hypertension underwent both 4D flow MRI acquisitions. The k−t accelerated acquisition was approximately three times faster (3:11 min ± 0:12 min/9:17 min ± 1:41 min, p < 0.001) than the standard respiratory-triggered acquisition. Vessel identification agreement was substantial between acquisitions and observers. Average flow had substantial inter-sequence agreement in the portal vein and aorta (CV < 15%) and poorer agreement in hepatic and splenic arteries (CV = 11–38%). The k−t accelerated acquisition recorded reduced velocities in small arteries and reduced splenic vein flow. Respiratory gating combined with increased acceleration and spatial resolution are needed to improve flow measurements in these vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19886
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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