European Radiology

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 1891–1899 | Cite as

Feasibility of free-breathing dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI of gastric cancer using a golden-angle radial stack-of-stars VIBE sequence: comparison with the conventional contrast-enhanced breath-hold 3D VIBE sequence

  • Huan-Huan Li
  • Hui Zhu
  • Lei Yue
  • Yi Fu
  • Robert Grimm
  • Alto Stemmer
  • Cai-Xia Fu
  • Wei-jun PengEmail author
Magnetic Resonance



To investigate the feasibility and diagnostic value of free-breathing, radial, stack-of-stars three-dimensional (3D) gradient echo (GRE) sequence (“golden angle”) on dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI of gastric cancer.


Forty-three gastric cancer patients were divided into cooperative and uncooperative groups. Respiratory fluctuation was observed using an abdominal respiratory gating sensor. Those who breath-held for more than 15 s were placed in the cooperative group and the remainder in the uncooperative group. The 3-T MRI scanning protocol included 3D GRE and conventional breath-hold VIBE (volume-interpolated breath-hold examination) sequences, comparing images quantitatively and qualitatively. DCE-MRI parameters from VIBE images of normal gastric wall and malignant lesions were compared.


For uncooperative patients, 3D GRE scored higher qualitatively, and had higher SNRs (signal-to-noise ratios) and CNRs (contrast-to-noise ratios) than conventional VIBE quantitatively. Though 3D GRE images scored lower in qualitative parameters compared with conventional VIBE for cooperative patients, it provided images with fewer artefacts. DCE parameters differed significantly between normal gastric wall and lesions, with higher Ve (extracellular volume) and lower Kep (reflux constant) in gastric cancer.


The free-breathing, golden-angle, radial stack-of-stars 3D GRE technique is feasible for DCE-MRI of gastric cancer. Dynamic enhanced images can be used for quantitative analysis of this malignancy.

Key Points

• Golden-angle radial stack-of-stars VIBE aids gastric cancer MRI diagnosis.

• The 3D GRE technique is suitable for patients unable to suspend respiration.

• Method scored higher in the qualitative evaluation for uncooperative patients.

• The technique produced images with fewer artefacts than conventional VIBE sequence.

• Dynamic enhanced images can be used for quantitative analysis of gastric cancer.


Stomach neoplasms Magnetic resonance imaging DCE Golden-angle radial VIBE Stack of stars 



Area under the curve




Contrast-to-noise ratio


Computed tomography


Dynamic contrast-enhanced




Gradient echo


Extravascular-to-plasma volume transfer


Plasma-to-extravascular volume transfer


Multiple-detector computed tomography


Magnetic resonance imaging


Region of interest


Standard deviation


Signal intensity


Signal-to-noise ratio


Extravascular fluid volume fraction


Volume-interpolated breath-hold examination



This study has received funding by the innovation funds for development of science and technology in PuDong new area, Fund code: PKJ2013-Y07

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Wei-jun Peng.

Statistics and biometry

One of the authors has significant statistical expertise.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all patients in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• prospective

• performed at one institution


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huan-Huan Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hui Zhu
    • 1
  • Lei Yue
    • 1
  • Yi Fu
    • 1
  • Robert Grimm
    • 3
  • Alto Stemmer
    • 3
  • Cai-Xia Fu
    • 4
  • Wei-jun Peng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyFudan University Shanghai Cancer CenterShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyShanghai Pudong New Area Gongli HospitalShanghaiChina
  3. 3.MR Applications DevelopmentSiemens HealthcareErlangenGermany
  4. 4.MR Applications DevelopmentSiemens Shenzhen Magnetic Resonance Ltd.ShenzhenChina

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