Improved coronary artery definition with T2-weighted, free-breathing, three-dimensional coronary MRA

René M. Botnar, Matthias Stuber, Peter G. Danias, Kraig V. Kissinger, Warren J. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - Three-dimensional (3D) navigator-gated and prospectively corrected free-breathing coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) allows for submillimeter image resolution but suffers from poor contrast between coronary blood and myocardium. Data collected over >100 ms/heart beat are also susceptible to bulk cardiac and respiratory motion. To address these problems, we examined the effect of a T2 preparation prepulse (T2prep) for myocardial suppression and a shortened acquisition window on coronary definition. Methods and Results - Eight healthy adult subjects and 5 patients with confirmed coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent free-breathing 3D MRA with and without T2prep and with 120- and 60-ms data-acquisition windows. The T2prep resulted in a 123% (P<0.001) increase in contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Coronary edge definition was improved by 33% (P<0.001). Acquisition window shortening from 120 to 60 ms resulted in better vessel definition (11%; P<0.001). Among patients with CAD, there was a good correspondence with disease. Conclusions - Free-breathing, T2prep, 3D coronary MRA with a shorter acquisition window resulted in improved CNR and better coronary artery definition, allowing the assessment of coronary disease. This approach offers the potential for free-breathing, noninvasive assessment of the major coronary arteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3139-3148
Number of pages10
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 22 1999


  • Angiography
  • Contrast media
  • Imaging
  • Vessels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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