Katoh, M; Spüntrup, E; Kuehl, H; Stuber, M; Günther, RW; Botnar, RM
Flow-targeted inversion-prepared b-TFE coronary MR angiography: initial results in patients.
PURPOSE: Visualization of coronary blood flow in the right and left coronary system in volunteers and patients by means of a modified inversion-prepared bright-blood coronary magnetic resonance angiography (cMRA) sequence. MATERIALS AND METHODS: cMRA was performed in 14 healthy volunteers and 19 patients on a 1.5 Tesla MR system using a free-breathing 3D balanced turbo field echo (b-TFE) sequence with radial k-space sampling. For magnetization preparation a slab selective and a 2D selective inversion pulse were used for the right and left coronary system, respectively. cMRA images were evaluated in terms of clinically relevant stenoses (< 50 %) and compared to conventional catheter angiography. Signal was measured in the coronary arteries (coro), the aorta (ao) and in the epicardial fat (fat) to determine SNR and CNR. In addition, maximal visible vessel length, and vessel border definition were analyzed. RESULTS: The use of a selective inversion pre-pulse allowed direct visualization of the coronary blood flow in the right and left coronary system. The measured SNR and CNR, vessel length, and vessel sharpness in volunteers (SNR coro: 28.3 +/- 5.0; SNR ao: 37.6 +/- 8.4; CNR coro-fat: 25.3 +/- 4.5; LAD: 128.0 cm +/- 8.8; RCA: 74.6 cm +/- 12.4; Sharpness: 66.6 % +/- 4.8) were slightly increased compared to those in patients (SNR coro: 24.1 +/- 3.8; SNR ao: 33.8 +/- 11.4; CNR coro-fat: 19.9 +/- 3.3; LAD: 112.5 cm +/- 13.8; RCA: 69.6 cm +/- 16.6; Sharpness: 58.9 % +/- 7.9; n.s.). In the patient study the assessment of 42 coronary segments lead to correct identification of 10 clinically relevant stenoses. CONCLUSION: The modification of a previously published inversion-prepared cMRA sequence allowed direct visualization of the coronary blood flow in the right as well as in the left coronary system. In addition, this sequence proved to be highly sensitive regarding the assessment of clinically relevant stenotic lesions.