Acceleration of Brain TOF-MRA with Compressed Sensitivity En
The clinical practice of three-dimensional TOF-MRA, despite its capability in brain artery assessment, has been hampered by the relatively long scan time, while recent developments in fast imaging techniques with random undersampling have shed light on an improved balance between image quality and imaging speed.

The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of TOF-MRA accelerated by compressed sensitivity encoding and to identify the optimal acceleration factors for routine clinical use.

One hundred subjects enrolled at 5 centers, underwent 8 brain TOF-MRA sequences: 5 sequences using compressed sensitivity encoding with acceleration factors of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 (CS2, CS4, CS6, CS8, and CS10), 2 using sensitivity encoding with factors of 2 and 4 (SF2 and SF4), and 1 without acceleration as a reference sequence (RS). Five large arteries, 6 medium arteries, and 6 small arteries were evaluated quantitatively (reconstructed signal intensity, structural similarity, contrast ratio) and qualitatively (scores on arteries, artifacts, overall image quality, and diagnostic confidence for aneurysm and stenosis). Comparisons were performed among the 8 sequences.

- The quantitative measurements showed that the reconstructed signal intensities of the assessed arteries and the structural similarity consistently decreased as the compressed sensitivity encoding acceleration factor increased, and no significant difference was found for the contrast ratios in pair-wise comparisons among SF2, CS2, and CS4.

- Qualitative evaluations showed no significant difference in pair-wise comparisons among RS, SF2, and CS2.

- The visualization of all the assessed arteries was acceptable for CS2 and CS4, while 2 small arteries in images of CS6 were not reliably displayed, and the visualization of large arteries was acceptable in images of CS8 and CS10.

CS4 is recommended for routine brain TOF-MRA with balanced image quality and acquisition time; CS6, for examinations when small arteries are not evaluated; and CS10, for fast visualization of large arteries.

American Journal of Neuroradiology