Feasibility of 3D Breath-Hold MR Cholangiopancreatography with a Spatially Selective Radiofrequency Excitation Pulse: Prospective Comparison with Parallel Imaging Technique and Compressed Sensing Method

Published:March 31, 2022DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the clinical feasibility of the modified 3D breath-hold magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography with parallel imaging (3D-BH-PI-MRCP) using a spatially selective radiofrequency excitation pulse in patients with suspected pancreaticobiliary diseases. Moreover, we also compared its image quality with those of the original 3D-BH-PI-MRCP with a nonselective exciting pulse and the 3D breath hold compressed sensing magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (3D-BH-CS-MRCP).

      Materials and Methods

      Between January 2021 and July 2021, 106 patients prospectively underwent modified 3D-BH-PI-MRCP, original 3D-BH-PI-MRCP and 3D-BH-CS-MRCP at 3T in this study. The Friedman test was performed to compare the contrast, signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR), and contrast-noise-ratio, overall image quality, and duct visualization among the three protocols.


      The contrast ratio, SNR and contrast-to-noise ratio of the common bile duct differed significantly among the three sequences (p < 0.001). Compared to the 3D-BH-CS-MRCP protocol, the overall imaging quality of the two 3D-BH-PI-MRCP was higher but not significantly different. The scores for the anterior and posterior branches visualization were significantly higher in the original 3D-BH-PI-MRCP compared to the 3D-BH-CS-MRCP, but were no significant differences between the modified 3D-BH-PI-MRCP and the 3D-BH-CS-MRCP.


      The modified 3D-BH-PI-MRCP with a spatially selective radiofrequency excitation pulse could provide comparable image quality to the original 3D-BH-PI-MRCP and the 3D-BH-CS-MRCP during a single breath hold (22 seconds), and showed improved SNR and superior visualization of the pancreaticobiliary tree.

      Key Words


      MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography), BH (breath-hold), NT (navigator-triggered), SPACE (sampling perfection with application optimized contrasts using different flip angle evolutions), CNR (contrast-to-noise ratio), SNR (signal-to-noise ratio), 3D (three-dimensional), PI (parallel imaging), CS (compressed sensing)
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