Detailing the use of magnetohydrodynamic effects for synchronization of MRI with the cardiac cycle: A feasibility study
Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of using magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects for synchronization of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the cardiac cycle. Materials and Methods: The MHD effect was scrutinized using a pulsatile flow phantom at B0 = 7.0 T. MHD effects were examined in vivo in healthy volunteers (n = 10) for B0 ranging from 0.05–7.0 T. Noncontrast-enhanced MR angiography (MRA) of the carotids was performed using a gated steady-state free-precession (SSFP) imaging technique in conjunction with electrocardiogram (ECG) and MHD synchronization. Results: The MHD potential correlates with flow velocities derived from phase contrast MRI. MHD voltages depend on the orientation between B0 and the flow of a conductive fluid. An increase in the interelectrode spacing along the flow increases the MHD potential. In vivo measurement of the MHD effect provides peak voltages of 1.5 mV for surface areas close to the common carotid artery at B0 = 7.0 T. Synchronization of MRI with the cardiac cycle using MHD triggering is feasible. MHD triggered MRA of the carotids at 3.0 T showed an overall image quality and richness of anatomic detail, which is comparable to ECG-triggered MRAs. Conclusion: This feasibility study demonstrates the use of MHD effects for synchronization of MR acquisitions with the cardiac cycle. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2012;36:364–372. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.