Kz-accelerated variable-density stack-of-stars MRI

Zhitao Li, Chenchan Huang, Angela Tong, Hersh Chandarana, Li Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work aimed to develop a modified stack-of-stars golden-angle radial sampling scheme with variable-density acceleration along the slice (kz) dimension (referred to as VD-stack-of-stars) and to test this new sampling trajectory with multi-coil compressed sensing reconstruction for rapid motion-robust 3D liver MRI. VD-stack-of-stars sampling implements additional variable-density undersampling along the kz dimension, so that slice resolution (or volumetric coverage) can be increased without prolonging scan time. The new sampling trajectory (with increased slice resolution) was compared with standard stack-of-stars sampling with fully sampled kz (with standard slice resolution) in both non-contrast-enhanced free-breathing liver MRI and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) of the liver in volunteers. For both sampling trajectories, respiratory motion was extracted from the acquired radial data, and images were reconstructed using motion-compensated (respiratory-resolved or respiratory-weighted) dynamic radial compressed sensing reconstruction techniques. Qualitative image quality assessment (visual assessment by experienced radiologists) and quantitative analysis (as a metric of image sharpness) were performed to compare images acquired using the new and standard stack-of-stars sampling trajectories. Compared to standard stack-of-stars sampling, both non-contrast-enhanced and DCE liver MR images acquired with VD-stack-of-stars sampling presented improved overall image quality, sharper liver edges and increased hepatic vessel clarity in all image planes. The results have suggested that the proposed VD-stack-of-stars sampling scheme can achieve improved performance (increased slice resolution or volumetric coverage with better image quality) over standard stack-of-stars sampling in free-breathing DCE-MRI without increasing scan time. The reformatted coronal and sagittal images with better slice resolution may provide added clinical value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Free-breathing
  • Golden-angle radial
  • Variable-density stack-of-stars


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