3D MR coronary angiography: optimization of the technique and preliminary results
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Current clinical full MR angiography with multiple breathhold multiple thin slab acquisition (MTS) is difficult and arduous. This study describes the optimisation of the whole heart free – breathing balanced turbo field echo (B-TFE) protocol. A high-resolution image of the whole heart is produced in less or comparable time to MTS acquisition and allows for reconstruction afterwards to visualise the individual coronary arteries. The scan is easily performed because the volume has to be targeted only once.
Design and setting:
Eighteen healthy adults without a history of cardiovascular disease underwent free-breathing 3D MR angiography with the B-TFE protocol. The whole-heart data set was reformatted in identical orientations in all subjects to visualise the major coronary arteries.
Main outcome measures:
Vessel length, signal and contrast to noise ratio were determined and compared for each vessel.
Mean visible vessel lengths were 116 mm for the right, 102 mm for the left main and left descending and 76 mm for the left circumflex coronary artery. The average signal to noise ratio was 7.5 and contrast to noise ratio was 4.9. Because of the need for synchronised cardiac and respiratory triggering the coronaries could not be judged in 25% of the subjects.
The optimised B-TFE protocol had equal judgeability and vessels could be judged over longer contiguous distances compared to earlier implementations of the B-TFE protocol. We conclude whole heart free breathing navigator-gated and slice-tracked 3D coronary MR angiography with use of the adjusted B-TFE protocol is possible, but still suboptimal for clinical use.
Keywordsangiography coronary artery pathology magnetic resonance imaging whole heart
balanced turbo field echo
contrast to noise ratio
computed tomography angiography
field of view
left anterior descending artery
left circumflex artery
left main coronary artery
magnetic resonance imaging
magnetic resonance angiography
multiple thin slab
right coronary artery
signal to noise ratio
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