RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. Recent developments of MR imaging equipment enabled high-quality steady state-free-precession (Balanced FFE, True-FISP) MR-imaging with a substantial 'T2 like' contrast, resulting in a high signal intensity of the blood-pool without the application of exogenous contrast agents. It is hypothesized that Balanced-FFE may be valuable for contrast enhancement in 3D free-breathing coronary MRA. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Navigator-gated free-breathing cardiac triggered coronary MRA was performed in 10 healthy adult subjects and three patients with radiograph defined coronary artery disease using a segmented k-space 3D Balanced FFE imaging sequence. RESULTS. High contrast-to-noise ratio between the blood-pool and the myocardium (29 ± 8) and long segment visualization of both coronary arteries could be obtained in about 5 minutes during free breathing using the present navigator-gated Balanced-FFE coronary MRA approach. First patient results demonstrated successful display of coronary artery stenoses. CONCLUSION. Balanced FFE offers a potential alternative for endogenous contrast enhancement in navigator-gated free-breathing 3D coronary MRA. The obtained results together with the relatively short scanning time warrant further studies in larger patient collectives.
- Coronary vessels
- Magnetic resonance (MR)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging