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3D whole-heart coronary MR angiography at 1.5T in healthy volunteers: comparison between unenhanced SSFP and Gd-enhanced FLASH sequences

 Hye Mi Gweon  ;  Sang Jin Kim  ;  Sang Min Lee  ;  Yoo Jin Hong  ;  Tae Hoon Kim 
 KOREAN JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGY, Vol.12(6) : 679-685, 2011 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adult ; Contrast Media* ; Coronary Vessels/anatomy & histology* ; Female ; Gadolinium ; Humans ; Image Processing, Computer-Assisted ; Imaging, Three-Dimensional* ; Magnetic Resonance Angiography/methods* ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Organometallic Compounds* ; Reference Values ; Young Adult
1.5T ; Cardiac magnetic resonance ; Contrast agent ; Coronary artery imaging ; Fast low-angle shot ; Steady-state free precession
OBJECTIVE: To validate the optimal cardiac phase and appropriate acquisition window for three-dimensional (3D) whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) with a steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequence, and to compare image quality between SSFP and Gd-enhanced fast low-angle shot (FLASH) MR techniques at 1.5 Tesla (T).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty healthy volunteers (M:F = 25:5; mean age, 35 years; range, 24-54 years) underwent a coronary MRA at 1.5T. 3D whole-heart coronary MRA with an SSFP was performed at three different times: 1) at end-systole with a narrow (120-msec) acquisition window (ESN), 2) mid-diastole with narrow acquisition (MDN); and 3) mid-diastole with wide (170-msec) acquisition (MDW). All volunteers underwent a contrast enhanced coronary MRA after undergoing an unenhanced 3D true fast imaging with steady-state precession (FISP) MRA three times. A contrast enhanced coronary MRA with FLASH was performed during MDN. Visibility of the coronary artery and image quality were evaluated for 11 segments, as suggested by the American Heart Association. Image quality was scored by a five-point scale (1 = not visible to 5 = excellent). The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were evaluated at the proximal coronary arteries.

RESULTS: The SSFP sequence rendered higher visibility coronary segments, higher image quality, as well as higher SNR and CNR than the Gd-enhanced FLASH technique at 1.5T (p < 0.05). The visibility of coronary segments, image quality, SNR and CNR in the ESN, MDN and MDW with SSFP sequence did not differ significantly.

CONCLUSION: An SSFP sequence provides an excellent method for the 3D whole-heart coronary MRA at 1.5T. Contrast enhanced coronary MRA using the FLASH sequence does not help improve the visibility of coronary segments, image quality, SNR or CNR on the 3D whole-heart coronary MRA.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Radiology (영상의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Gweon, Hye Mi(권혜미) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3054-1532
Kim, Sang Jin(김상진)
Kim, Tae Hoon(김태훈) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3598-2529
Hong, Yoo Jin(홍유진) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7276-0944
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