Respiratory self-gating for free-breathing magnetization transfer MRI of the abdomen

Weiguo Li, Zhuoli Zhang, Kangan Li, Ning Jin, Yue Zhang, Tianjing Zhang, Frank H. Miller, Andrew C. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose Magnetization transfer (MT) MRI can be effective for the diagnosis of a broad range of fibrotic diseases, including liver fibrosis. However, respiratory motion, a major source of artifacts in thoracic and abdominal MR imaging, can obscure important anatomic structures, making diagnosis difficult. In this study, we explored the potential to combine free-breathing (FB) respiratory self-gating (RSG) methods with MT saturation for FB MT ratio (MTR) measurements of abdominal organs. Methods A respiratory self-gated multiple-gradient recalled echo sequence with MT presaturation (RSG-MT GRE) was developed and applied in a series of seven normal volunteers. We compared the MTR values of liver, pancreas, kidney, spleen, and posterior paraspinal muscle measured using our RSG-MT GRE sequence and a conventional MT GRE sequence. Results RSG consistently reduced motion artifacts within MT-weighted images acquired during FB, improved the accuracy of FB MTR measurements, and produced comparable MTRs to breath-holding MTR measurements. Conclusion RSG approaches may offer to improve the utility of MT-weighted imaging methods for the assessment of fibrotic diseases and tumor desmoplasia in abdominal organs. Magn Reson Med 73:2249-2254, 2015.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2249-2254
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • abdomen
  • magnetization transfer
  • respiratory motion
  • respiratory self-gating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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