Free-breathing volumetric fat/water separation by combining radial sampling, compressed sensing, and parallel imaging

Thomas Benkert, Li Feng, Daniel K. Sodickson, Hersh Chandarana, Kai Tobias Block

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Conventional fat/water separation techniques require that patients hold breath during abdominal acquisitions, which often fails and limits the achievable spatial resolution and anatomic coverage. This work presents a novel approach for free-breathing volumetric fat/water separation. Methods: Multiecho data are acquired using a motion-robust radial stack-of-stars three-dimensional GRE sequence with bipolar readout. To obtain fat/water maps, a model-based reconstruction is used that accounts for the off-resonant blurring of fat and integrates both compressed sensing and parallel imaging. The approach additionally enables generation of respiration-resolved fat/water maps by detecting motion from k-space data and reconstructing different respiration states. Furthermore, an extension is described for dynamic contrast-enhanced fat-water–separated measurements. Results: Uniform and robust fat/water separation is demonstrated in several clinical applications, including free-breathing noncontrast abdominal examination of adults and a pediatric subject with both motion-averaged and motion-resolved reconstructions, as well as in a noncontrast breast exam. Furthermore, dynamic contrast-enhanced fat/water imaging with high temporal resolution is demonstrated in the abdomen and breast. Conclusion: The described framework provides a viable approach for motion-robust fat/water separation and promises particular value for clinical applications that are currently limited by the breath-holding capacity or cooperation of patients. Magn Reson Med 78:565–576, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-576
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Dixon imaging
  • compressed sensing
  • fat/water separation
  • free-breathing
  • radial sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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