Background To test the hypothesis that intervals with superior beat-to-beat coronary artery repositioning precision exist in the cardiac cycle, to design a coronary MR angiography (MRA) methodology in response, and to ascertain its performance. Methods Coronary repositioning precision in consecutive heartbeats was measured on x-ray coronary angiograms of 17 patients and periods with the highest repositioning precision were identified. In response, the temporal order of coronary MRA pulse sequence elements required modification and the T2-prep now follows (T2-post) rather than precedes the imaging part of the sequence. The performance of T2-post was quantitatively compared (signal-to-noise [SNR], contrast-to-noise [CNR], vessel sharpness) to that of T2-prep in vivo. Results Coronary repositioning precision is <1 mm at peak systole and in mid diastole. When comparing systolic T2-post to diastolic T2-prep, CNR and vessel sharpness remained unchanged (both P=NS) but SNR for muscle and blood increased by 104% and 36% (both P<0.05), respectively. Conclusion Windows with improved coronary repositioning precision exist in the cardiac cycle: one in peak systole and one in mid diastole. Peak-systolic imaging necessitates a re-design of conventional coronary MRA pulse sequences and leads to image quality very similar to that of conventional mid-diastolic data acquisition but improved SNR. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2015;41:1251-1258.
- T preparation
- coronary arteries
- magnetic resonance angiography
- systolic imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging