The acquisition duration of most three-dimensional (3D) coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) techniques is considerably prolonged, thereby precluding breathholding as a mechanism to suppress respiratory motion artifacts. Splitting the acquired 3D volume into multiple subvolumes or slabs serves to shorten individual breathhold duration. Still, problems associated with misregistration due to inconsistent depths of expiration and diaphragmatic drift during sustained respiration remain to be resolved. We propose the combination of an ultrafast 3D coronary MRA imaging sequence with prospective real-time navigator technology, which allows correction of the measured volume position. 3D volume splitting using prospective real-time navigator technology, was successfully applied for 3D coronary MRA in five healthy individuals. An ultrafast 3D interleaved hybrid gradient-echoplanar imaging sequence, including T2Prep for contrast enhancement, was used with the navigator localized at the basal anterior wall of the left ventricle. A 9-cm-thick volume, with in-plane spatial resolution of 1.1 X 2.2 mm, was acquired during five breathholds of 15-sec duration each. Consistently, no evidence of misregistration was observed in the images. Extensive contiguous segments of the left anterior descending coronary artery (48 ± 18 mm) and the right coronary artery (75 ± 5 mm) could be visualized. This technique has the potential for screening for anomalous coronary arteries, making it well suited as part of a larger clinical MR examination. In addition, this technique may also be applied as a scout scan, which allows an accurate definition of imaging planes for subsequent high-resolution coronary MRA.
- Breathhold 3D coronary MRA
- Real-time navigators
- Ultrafast imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine