Non-contrast renal MRA using multi-shot gradient echo EPI at 3-T MRI

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of non-contrast renal MRA using multi-shot gradient echo planar imaging (MSG-EPI) with a 3-T MRI system.

Methods

Seventeen healthy volunteers underwent non-contrast renal MRA using MSG-EPI and balanced steady-state free precession (b-SSFP) sequences on a 3-T MRI system. Two radiologists independently recorded the images’ contrast, noise, sharpness, artifacts, and overall quality on 4-point scales. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for the renal artery, the contrast ratio (CR) between the renal artery and erector spinae, and acquisition time were compared between the two sequences.

Results

The SNR and CR were significantly higher with MSG-EPI than with the b-SSFP sequence (17.80 ± 3.67 vs. 10.84 ± 2.86 and 0.77 ± 0.05 and 0.66 ± 0.09, respectively; p < 0.05), and the acquisition time was significantly lower (164.5 ± 34.0 vs. 261.5 ± 39.3 s, respectively; p < 0.05). There were significant differences in image contrast, noise, sharpness, artifacts, and overall image quality between the two sequences (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

The MSG-EPI sequence is a promising technique that can shorten the scan time and improve the image quality of non-contrast renal MRA with a 3-T MRI system.

Key Points

• The multi-shot gradient echo planar imaging with an inversion pulse is a brand-new fast scan technique for an unenhanced renal MRA.

• The image quality of multi-shot gradient echo planar imaging is better than that of b-SSFP for an unenhanced renal MRA.

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Abbreviations

3D:

Three-dimensional

b-SSFP:

Balanced steady-state free precession

CR:

Contrast ratio

EPI:

Echo planar imaging

MRA:

Magnetic resonance angiography

MSG:

Multi-shot gradient echo

PPU:

Peripheral pulse unit

ProSet:

Principle of selective excitation technique

ROI:

Regions of interest

SD:

Standard deviation

SI:

Signal intensity

SNR:

Signal-to-noise ratio

SPIR:

Spectral presaturation with inversion recovery

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Funding

The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

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Correspondence to Takeshi Nakaura.

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The scientific guarantor of this publication is Toshinori Hirai.

Conflict of interest

Masami Yoneyama is an employee of Philips Japan. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest in regard to the products under investigation or the subject matter discussed in this manuscript.

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No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

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Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (volunteers) in this study.

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Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.

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Morita, K., Nakaura, T., Yoneyama, M. et al. Non-contrast renal MRA using multi-shot gradient echo EPI at 3-T MRI. Eur Radiol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-020-07653-4

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Keywords

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Renal artery
  • Echo planar imaging