Shuo Zhang1, Alexander Beham2, Arun Joseph1, Henrik Forster2, Aaron Niebergall1, Martin Uecker3, Jens Frahm1
1Biomedizinische NMR Forschungs GmbH am Max-Planck-Institut fuer biophysikalische Chemie, Goettingen, Niedersachsen, Germany; 2Allgemein- und Visceralchirurgie, University Hospital Goettingen, Goettingen, Lower Saxony, Germany; 3Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
Previous studies of esophageal function using conventional clinical methods suffer mainly from invasiveness and limited soft-tissue contrast. Here, we applied the recently introduced real-time MRI technique based on undersampled radial FLASH and nonlinear inversion. Typical T1-weighted images had an in-plane resolution of 2.0 mm and acquisition times of 50 ms (20 fps), and are free from susceptibility or motion artifacts. The movies successfully resolved the transport of pineapple juice as bolus through the esophagus from its thoracic part to sphincter and to stomach. Preliminary results also demonstrated potential to visualize gastroesophageal reflux, which promises a useful tool for disease diagnosis.