First-pass myocardial perfusion is often imaged with a tailored hybrid centric interleaved echo-planar-imaging sequence, providing rapid image acquisition with good contrast enhancement. The centric interleaved phase-encode order minimises the effective time-of-echo but it is sensitive to frequency-offsets. This short article aims to show possible artefacts that might originate with this sequence, in the context of first-pass perfusion imaging, when frequency-offsets are present. Non-uniform magnitude modulation effects were also analysed.
Numerical and phantom simulations were used to illustrate the effects of frequency-offsets and non-uniform magnitude modulation with this sequence in a typical perfusion protocol. In vivo data was post-processed to analyse the h-EPI’s sensitivity to the frequency-offsets.
The centric phase-order was shown to be highly sensitive to frequency-offsets due to its symmetrical phase slope. Resulting artefacts include blurring, and splitting of the image into two identical copies along the phase-encode direction. It was also shown that frequency-offsets can introduce signal loss and ghosting of the right ventricle signal into the myocardium. The in vivo results were confirmed by numerical and phantom simulations. Magnitude modulation effects were found to be small.
Imaging first-pass myocardial perfusion with an hybrid centric echo-planar-imaging sequence can be corrupted with ghosting and splitting of the image due to frequency-offsets.