PURPOSE: We aimed to determine whether the controlled aliasing in parallel imaging results in higher acceleration (CAIPIRINHA) technique could improve the image quality of the hepatic arterial phase of gadoxetic acid-enhanced liver magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 320 patients underwent gadoxetic acid-enhanced liver MR imaging: a conventional protocol (a fixed scan delay and 2-mL/s injection) using a standard 3-T MR system (Trio-Tim; Siemens, commercialized since 2005) (group A), an optimized protocol (bolus tracking and 1-mL/s injection) using a standard 3-T MR (group B), an optimized protocol using a new 3-T MR (Skyra; Siemens, commercialized since 2012) (group C), and an optimized protocol with CAIPIRINHA using a new 3-T MR (group D). The image quality of the hepatic arterial phase was graded using a 4-point rating scale from 1 (no artifacts) to 4 points (non-diagnostic images with severe artifacts). The differences in image quality scores among the 4 groups were evaluated. In addition, the detection rates of hypervascular hepatocellular carcinomas among the 4 groups were evaluated. RESULTS: Scores of 4 points were observed in groups A (n = 7), B (n = 5), and C (n = 3) but not in group D. The median image quality score was 2 in groups A and B and 1 in groups C and D. From group A to group D, the median image quality score decreased significantly (P = 0.0001). The median image quality score was significantly lower in group D than in groups A and B (P = 0.0001 and 0.001, respectively), whereas there was no significant difference observed between groups C and D (P = 0.656). The detection rates of hypervascular hepatocellular carcinomas on the hepatic arterial phase were not significantly different among the groups (all P > 0.03), except between groups A and D (P = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: The CAIPIRINHA technique improved the image quality of hepatic arterial phase imaging with gadoxetic acid, reducing the number of non-diagnostic arterial phase studies.
- arterial phase
- gadoxetic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging